A court here on Monday said it would conduct an inquiry into a criminal defamation complaint filed against Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav over his alleged remark that “only Gujaratis can be thugs”, and is likely to examine witnesses on May 20 as part of the process.
The complaint against Yadav (33) has been filed by Haresh Mehta, 63, a social worker and businessman, under Indian Penal Code sections 499 and 500 (dealing with criminal defamation).
The court of Additional Metropolitan Magistrate DJ Parmar in Ahmedabad would conduct an inquiry against the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader under section 202 of the CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure) before deciding on issuing summons to him.
The CrPC section 202 deals with inquiry for the purpose of issuing process (summons) based on material against the accused.
The court will examine the authenticity of evidence in the form of a CD (compact disc) and a pen drive containing the alleged remark of Yadav submitted by the complainant, Mehta’s lawyer PR Patel said.
It will also examine people who heard the said remark in the next hearing slated on May 20, Patel said.
Mehta had filed his complaint in the court of metropolitan magistrate and submitted the proof of Yadav’s statement made before the media in Patna on March 21.
“Only Gujaratis can be thugs in the present situation, and their fraud (crime) will be forgiven. Who will be responsible if they run away with the money belonging to LIC or banks?” the Bihar Deputy CM had allegedly said.
The complainant said the statement calling the entire Gujarati community as “thug” defames and humiliates all Gujaratis in public.
A “thug” is a rogue, sly and a criminal person, and such a comparison with the entire community will cause non-Gujarati people to look at Gujaratis with suspicion, Mehta had said in his complaint and sought maximum punishment against the RJD leader under the law.
It may be noted that a court in Gujarat’s Surat city in March convicted and sentenced Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to two years in jail over his “Modi surname” remark. After the conviction, the former Congress president lost his Lok Sabha membership.
Separately, a court in Ahmedabad has issued summonses to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Sanjay Singh in a criminal defamation case filed by the Gujarat University over their remarks on the institute, asking them to appear before it on May 23.
The Gujarat University had filed the case against the two AAP leaders over their media statements and social media posts regarding a High Court judgement given in connection with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s educational degree.