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AAP's Raghav Chadha booked for 'defaming' Yogi, says FIR 'baseless, frivolous, erroneous'

PTI | Noida | Updated: 29-03-2020 20:09 IST | Created: 29-03-2020 20:09 IST
AAP's Raghav Chadha booked for 'defaming' Yogi, says FIR 'baseless, frivolous, erroneous'

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Raghav Chadha was booked here on Sunday for allegedly posting a tweet defaming Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in connection with the coronavirus pandemic, police said. Chadha, however, claimed that the FIR got registered at the behest of some “known political operatives” and it appeared to be based on absolutely “frivolous and erroneous” grounds and “warrants to be rejected”.

He also said that it is surprising that in such a situation (coronavirus outbreak) the UP Police has used its energies to register a “baseless” FIR. The FIR was registered on the basis of a complaint lodged by UP-based lawyer Prashant Patel Umrao at the Sector 20 police station in Noida, a police official said.

The case has been lodged under Indian Penal Code sections 500 (defamation), 505 (2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) and under Section 66 (offensive messages through a computer or any other communication device like a mobile phone) of the Information Technology Act, according to the FIR. "His (Chadha's) malicious and deliberate act is not only dangerous to the maintenance of law and order but also it will create panic among the people who are going to their native places at this time due to coronavirus epidemic,” Patel claimed in his complaint, citing a tweet allegedly posted by Chadha.

The case comes amid thousands of migrant daily wage earners from Delhi and nearby areas gathering en masse at Anand Vihar on UP border leaving for their home towns and villages due to the 21-day countrywide lockdown called by the Centre with an objective to contain the spread of coronavirus. Chadha, also national spokesperson of the AAP, said that at this vulnerable time when mankind and the country are facing an unprecedented public health and economic crisis in the COVID-19 pandemic, people can overcome this challenge through a united effort.

"It is surprising that in such a situation, the UP Police has used its energies to register a baseless FIR against me in NOIDA, at the behest of some known political operatives,” he said in a statement to PTI. "However, I restrict myself to say only this, that the present FIR, from the very bare reading of it, is based on absolutely frivolous and erroneous grounds and warrants to be rejected with the contempt it deserves," he added.

"Be that as it may, there are times in our lives, when we must focus on doing what's best for our country, families and communities, and set aside our differences and scoring petty political brownie points. This is one of those times when there are lives at stake. Therefore, this is not the time for name calling by exploiting a health crisis," Chadha said. The MLA from Delhi’s Rajinder Nagar added that people should endeavour to set aside all types of partisan-politics and direct all their energies on simply curbing the spread of this dangerous disease.

"This is the time to put India first and humanity first,” he said. "It would suffice to say that I have full faith in our judicial system and I say it with great certitude that the Truth has an uncanny knack of oozing out eventually. Hence, ‘Truth Shall Prevail’. Satyamev Jayate!” he added.

When last checked by PTI, the tweet mentioned in the FIR did not appear on the AAP MLA's timeline, although a screenshot of the purported post was circulating on social media..



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