Cong MP terms criminal defamation suit ‘frivolous’.
New Delhi: A criminal defamation complaint has been filed against Congress leader Shashi Tharoor before a court in Delhi for his alleged “scorpion” remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In his complaint, Delhi BJP leader Rajeev Babbar said his religious sentiments were hurt.
“I am a devotee of Lord Shiva... However, the accused (Shashi Tharoor) completely disregarded the sentiments of crores of Shiva’s devotees, made the statement which hurt the sentiments of all the Lord Shiva devotees, both in India and outside the country,” the complaint said.
“The complainant’s religious sentiments were hurt and the accused deliberately did this malicious act, intending to outrage religious feeling of Lord Shiva devotees by insulting their religious believes,” it said.
Mr Tharoor, however, termed the criminal defamation complaint “frivolous” and alleged that it was an attempt to “throttle the freedom of expression”.
Mr Tharoor had stoked a fresh controversy on Sunday while speaking at the Bangalore Literature Festival, claiming that an unnamed RSS leader had told him that “Mr Modi is like a scorpion sitting on a Shivling. You cannot move it with your hand, and you cannot hit it with a chappal (slipper) either.”
The complaint, filed through advocate Neeraj, termed the statement as an “intolerable abuse” and “absolute vilification” of the faith of millions of people. Reacting to it, Mr Tharoor told reporters, “The charges are frivolous ... If we start to stifle the right of the people to quote published material then where would our democracy head ?... Where is the freedom of expression ?”
The complaint was filed under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code relating to defamation.
The matter will likely be heard next Saturday.