Court issues summons to Uddhav Thackeray, Raut in defamation case filed by Shinde group MP

 A magistrate’s court here has issued a summons to Shiv Sena (UBT) leaders Uddhav Thackeray and Sanjay Raut over alleged defamatory articles carried by the party mouthpiece `Saamana’ against Rahul Shewale, a leader of the rival Sena faction.

Metropolitan Magistrate (Sewree court) S B Kale issued the summons on Monday in response to a complaint filed by Shewale, MP from the Mumbai South-Central constituency.

Thackeray, a former Maharashtra chief minister, and Rajya Sabha MP Raut have been directed to appear before the court on July 14.

Shewale, who belongs to the Shiv Sena faction led by Eknath Shinde, has sought action against the two leaders under Indian Penal Code sections 500 (punishment for defamation) and 501 (printing or engraving matter knowing it to be defamatory) for publishing `defamatory articles’ against him in the Marathi and Hindi editions of `Saamana’.

While Thackeray is the chief editor of Saamana, Raut is its executive editor.

In the complaint, filed through advocate Chitra Salunke, Shewale took objection to the articles with the headline `Rahul Shewale has hotel, real estate business in Karachi’ published on December 29, 2022.

“The complainant strongly refuted all the allegations made in the said articles and categorically stated that this is merely a feeble attempt to damage the reputation and political career of the complainant by levelling false accusations against him to malign his image before the public at large,” the complaint read.

The articles were a “concocted story, “devoid of any merits” and a classic example of “vendetta journalism”, it added.

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