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Jharkhand High Court dismisses Rahul Gandhi’s plea, allows defamation proceedings against him

Last Updated on February 23, 2024 by News Desk

Recently, Jharkhand high court dismissed the petition filed by Rahul Gandhi challenging the defamation proceedings against him for making defamatory remarks against Amit Shah.

Allegedly, Rahul Gandhi made defamatory remarks against the then president of Bharatiya Janata Party, Amit Shah, of being involved in murder, in Chaibasa during the 2018 Lok Sabha election campaign. 

He said that “The people of this country will accept a lying Bhartiya Janata Party leadership drunk with power because they know that, what the Bharatiya Janata Party is designed for”. Further he went on to say, “They will, accept a man accused of murder as the President of Bharatiya Janata Party but the people will never accept the same in the Congress Party”

The BJP local leader, Navin jha filed a complaint against Mr Gandhi for criticising BJP and falsely accusing Amit Shah. 

The judicial commissioner in Ranchi on September 15, 2018 set aside the order passed by magistrate court dismissing the complaint petition, and sent it back to the magistrate court directing it to to review the evidence on record again and issue a fresh order regarding the determination of prima facie material to proceed with the matter. 

The magistrate then passed an observation on 28 november, 2018 where it had found the prima facie case to be true against the petitioner under section 500 of the Indian Penal Code and directed for issuance of process. 

Aggrieved by the order passed, Mr Gandhi moved to the high court seeking dismissal of the defamation proceedings against him. 

However, Single-judge Justice Ambuj Nath contended that remarks made by Mr Gandhi are prima facie defamatory in nature. 

“Prima facie this statement points out that Mr. Rahul Gandhi has imputed that the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership was drunk with power and was composed of liars. It further means that the party workers of Bharatiya Janata Party will accept such person/persons as their leader. This imputation is prima facie defamatory in nature.” The court observed. 

It further held that the expression “any person” in Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code includes a company or association or a collection of a persons and Bharatiya Janata Party is a prominent political party which is well identifiable and will come within the meaning of Explanation-2 of Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Thus, the court dismissed the petition and allowed the proceedings to continue. 

written by Shagun Behal

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