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Tharoor is seeking direction to set aside the trial court's April 27, 2019 order, which summoned him as the accused in the criminal defamation complaint. Additionally, he has requested the quashing of the November 2, 2018 complaint
The Delhi High Court has given Congress Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor the last chance to submit his arguments in a plea challenging the defamation proceedings initiated against him following a complaint by a BJP leader regarding his alleged ''scorpion on Shivling'' remark targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma adjourned the matter until March 15, 2024, accommodating the request of Tharoor's counsel and instructing the lawyer to file written submissions.
The court clarified that if the matter is not argued on the next hearing date, the petition will be decided based on the written submissions.
On October 16, 2020, the high court had stayed the criminal proceedings against Tharoor on the defamation complaint, issuing notice and seeking the response of complainant Rajiv Babbar on Tharoor's plea challenging the summons from the trial court.
Tharoor is seeking the setting aside of the trial court's April 27, 2019 order, which summoned him as the accused in the criminal defamation complaint. Additionally, he has requested the quashing of the November 2, 2018 complaint.
Tharoor's counsel argued that the trial court's order was legally flawed and contrary to established principles of criminal jurisprudence, as it neglected the fact that Babbar's complaint was ''completely false and frivolous''.
In the complaint, Babbar alleged that his religious sentiments were hurt by Tharoor's comments. In October 2018, Tharoor claimed that an unnamed RSS leader had compared Prime Minister Modi to ''a scorpion sitting on a Shivling'', describing it as an ''extraordinarily striking metaphor''.
Babbar filed the complaint under sections 499 (defamation) and 500 (punishment for defamation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Tharoor was granted bail in the case by the trial court in June 2019.
Case Title: Dr. Shashi Tharoor v. State & Anr.
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