Advocate Dehadrai withdraws Defamation suit against Mahua Moitra in Delhi HC

Advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai on Thursday withdrew his defamation suit against Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra in the Delhi High Court.

Dehadrai’s suit alleged that Moitra made defamatory statements against him on various social media platforms, as well as in print and electronic media. He had sought Rs 2 crore in damages from Moitra, alleging that she referred to him as “jobless” and “jilted” and sought to restrain her from publishing further defamatory material against him on social media.

Dehadrai, represented by advocate Raghav Awasthi, sought permission from the court to withdraw the suit, upon his own instructions.

Justice Prateek Jalan, who was hearing the case, granted permission, stating: “The suit is dismissed as withdrawn.”

As Awasthi told the court that Dehadrai was willing to withdraw the suit, provided Moitra offered an assurance not to make any palpably false statements against him, Justice Jalan urged both parties to find a more amicable resolution to the issue, suggesting that personal allegations be kept out of the public domain.

Advocate Samudra Sarangi, representing Moitra, stated that there could be no settlement between Moitra and Dehadrai.

However, Justice Jalan encouraged the counsel to collaborate on crafting an agreed wording for the court order in light of Dehadrai’s decision to withdraw the suit.

In response, Awasthi stated that the withdrawal was an unconditional peace offering.

Earlier, the court had held that Moitra has a right to defend herself in the public domain.

In March, the court had refused to grant interim relief to Moitra in a defamation suit against BJP MP Nishikant Dubey and Dehadrai pertaining to alleged defamatory content posted by them on social media regarding the “cash-for-query” allegations against her.

Moitra, who was expelled as a Lok Sabha MP on December 8 last year on the recommendation of the Ethics Committee, faces allegations of receiving cash in exchange for posing questions in the House on behalf of Hiranandani Group CEO Darshan Hiranandani.

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Justice Jalan had, in March, also issued summons to five media houses as well as social media platforms X and Google LLC, while directing Moitra to respond to Dehadrai’s application seeking interim relief. The judge had also noted that in cases of this nature, both parties are often seen as warring factions, neither solely a victim nor a perpetrator, and that a significant portion of the battle in such cases is fought outside the courtroom.

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