Bengaluru: Irked by "false and baseless allegations" by former Union Minister and BJP leader Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, Congress leader DK Shivakumar has filed a defamation suit of Rs 204 crore.
Shivakumar has already paid a court fee of Rs 1,04,08,000.
Talking about the petition filed against BJP MLA, Shivakumar said: "Yatnal alleged that I'm requesting Central Minister to help me in ED and IT cases against me. It has damaged my integrity. It has hurt me a lot."
"I am a simple Congress legislator. I don’t do any backdoor politics or backstabbing. Today, when my integrity has been questioned, I have filed criminal and civil petitions in Kanakapura Court," he added.
Following the defamation suit filed by Shivakumar at his home town Kanakapura, the Judge at Senior Civil Judge and JMFC court admitted the case and issued summon to Yatnal.
The case will be taken up for hearing on September 18.
Yatnal, while speaking to media persons at Vijayapura, issued a "damaging, image tarnishing and baseless statements against Shivakumar on June 23, he has been exerting pressure on national level BJP leaders and union BJP ministers to ensure that he is free from cases that are being probed by the Income Tax (IT) department and Enforcement Directorate (ED)," the defamation petition filed by Shivakumar stated.
The petition further mentioned that Vijayapura said Shivakumar has "promised to remain neutral and not becoming a stumbling block in the formation of BJP government in Karnataka."
"These statements have been beamed in electronic and print media too. These are baseless, false, irresponsible and irrelevant statements made by Yatnal. These remarks are passed with malafide intention to malign and to tarnish my public image. This has put a huge question mark on my loyalty, sincerity, integrity and image at party and public level," the petitioner stated.
The Congress leader claimed, "The false and baseless statements mislead the investigating agencies and mislead the probe. Further, it is damaging to an extent that I am looked at with suspicion by Kanakapura Assembly constituency voters, Congress leaders, workers, and citizens of India in general and Karnataka in particular. It gives an impression that I am sacrificing the trust of people, leaders and voters for my personal and political gains. I have played a pivotal role in bringing Congress - JD(S) government to power."
"With these baseless statements, I am branded as a person instrumental in destabilising and dethroning the coalition government. This has caused major damage to my reputation, image and my loyalty towards the party," Shivakumar stated in the petition.
The petition also said these "irresponsible statements that I (Shivakumar) support to destabilise the coalition government are aimed at with devious intention to impede my political prosperity and growth and to put my image at stake in the eyes of leaders of Congress at the state level and Central level apart from coalition leaders."
Shivakumar went on to mention in the petition that during his stint as Water Resources Minister, he undertook several official visits to Delhi.
"These visits and meetings between June 12 and 19 were scheduled with a host of Union ministers to discuss conservation of water and drinking water projects. Water sharing issues and project implementation relating to Mahadayi, Mekedatu were discussed at length. It was my primary concern and duty too as a water resources minister to resolve the issues in the larger interest of public. My official visits with large public interest have been misinterpreted by Yatnal to put me in bad light in the eyes of leaders, public, voters and central leadership. This has caused mental agony and distressed me," he stated.
In the light of "damage and distress" caused, Shivakumar said he approached the court, claiming damage of Rs 204 crore from Yatnal for his "irresponsible statements." Further, he sought permanent restrain from Yatnal about the "slanderous and maligning statement."