The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned till January 29 the hearing on Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav’s petition seeking transfer of the criminal defamation complaint pending against him in a Ahmedabad court over his alleged ”only Gujaratis can be thugs” remark to a place outside the state, preferably Delhi.
A bench of Justices A S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan deferred the matter after the counsel for the complainant sought time.
”Why should the prosecution continue when he has withdrawn the statement. You seek instructions otherwise we will exercise powers under Article 142,” the bench said.
”The counsel for the respondent seeks time to seek instructions on statement filed by the petitioner (Yadav) on January 19. List on next Monday,” the top court recorded in its order.
The top court, while hearing the RJD leader’s plea, had earlier stayed the proceedings in the criminal defamation complaint and issued notice to the Gujarat resident who has filed it.
The complaint against Yadav was filed under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for alleged criminal defamation. The Gujarat court had in August conducted a preliminary enquiry against Yadav under section 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and found sufficient grounds to summon him on the complaint filed by Haresh Mehta, a local businessman and activist.
According to the complaint, Yadav, while talking to the media in Patna in March 2023, had said, ”Only Gujaratis can be thugs in the present situation, and their fraud will be forgiven.” ”Who will be responsible if they run away with the money belonging to the LIC or banks?” the Bihar Deputy CM had allegedly asked.
Mehta claimed Yadav’s comments defamed all Gujaratis.