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Kerala court summons Ravi Shankar Prasad in defamation case


Kerala court summons Ravi Shankar Prasad in defamation case
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Image Credit: ANI

A court here on Saturday summoned Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to appear before it in a defamation case filed by Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor. The Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) took cognizance of the complaint and asked the minister to appear before it on May 2, Tharoor's lawyer told the media. Tharoor had in December 2018 filed a defamation case against Prasad for allegedly making derogatory remarks in connection with his wife Sunanda Pushkar's death.

Tharoor had earlier sent a legal notice to Prasad, the Minister for Law Justice and IT, seeking an "unconditional apology" for calling him a "murder accused." Tharoor has stated that the investigation in the Pushkar case had been completed and the Delhi Police had filed a final report before the Additional Metropolitan Magistrate court, in which he was charge-sheeted under Sections 308 and 498 A of the Indian Penal Code. "The final report does not state that the death of the deceased was a murder," Tharoor had said.

The Thiruvananthapuram MP and former Union minister said that on October 28 around 5.38 am, Prasad had posted a 2 minute 18 seconds video clip of his press conference, along with certain "false, untrue, malicious and highly defamatory statements on Twitter." Tharoor alleged that the video had been posted to defame him and thereby to "spread an untrue, false and scandalous imputation" against him that he is a "murder case" accused and that he had been charge-sheeted. This was intended to "harm" his reputation and "malign" him before the public "by intentionally giving such false and untrue statements, the color of his office, he had said.

"It is evident that the impugned post/tweet and the contents are solely intended to malign and tarnish the reputation of the complainant," he stated. Tharoor had sent a lawyer's notice to Prasad, seeking an unconditional apology within 48 hours of the receipt of the notice, for leveling the allegations and to delete and remove the video clip of his press conference, along with a defamatory statement on Twitter.

In his reply to the notice, Prasad had defended his tweet, saying it was not defamatory. According to the complainant, the offense against Prasad constitutes the commission of offense defined under Section 499 of the IPC (defamation), which is punishable under sections 500 (punishment for defamation). Tharoor had sought appropriate action against Prasad.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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