Delhi High Court reserves orders on pleas of Smriti Irani, Sanjay Nirupam in defamation cases



The Delhi High Court reserved its orders Tuesday on two separate pleas filed by Union minister Smriti Irani and Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam, seeking quashing of the summons issued to them in cross-defamation complaints filed against each other.

Justice R K Gauba reserved the verdicts on the two petitions after hearing the arguments of the lawyers of the two leaders.

In her plea, Irani has sought quashing of the summons issued to her by a trial court on June 6, 2014. She has also sought quashing of the complaint filed by Nirupam.

Nirupam has challenged a magisterial court’s March 11, 2013 order summoning him in Irani’s defamation complaint against him. He has also sought quashing of the January 1, 2013 complaint filed by Irani.

The court had earlier advised both the leaders to arrive at a compromise with regard to the defamation cases they have filed against each other.

Nirupam, a former Congress MP, had filed the complaint against Irani, alleging that on December 20, 2012, when the Gujarat Assembly poll results were announced, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader had made “defamatory and scurrilous comments” against him during a television debate “by making direct aspersions on the character of the complainant (Nirupam)”.

Nirupam had said he had sent a legal notice to Irani through his counsel, asking her to tender an “unconditional public apology” for allegedly making defamatory comments, but she did not reply to it.

Earlier, Irani had filed a complaint against Nirupam for allegedly defaming her during the same debate on a private television news channel and the court had framed charges against the Congress leader for using derogatory and indecent language against the Union textiles minister.

On Irani’s complaint, the court had put Nirupam on trial under sections 500 (defamation) and 509 (uttering any word or making any gesture intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Irani had alleged in her complaint that Nirupam had questioned her credentials to analyse poll results given her background as a television actress.

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