Defamation case: Court imposes ₹5,000 on Tharoor for not appearing before it

The court was hearing the complaint filed by Delhi BJP leader Rajeev Babbar, who claimed that his religious sentiments were hurt. Photo: PTI File

A Delhi court on Saturday (February 15) imposed a cost of ₹5,000 on Congress leader Shashi Tharoor for not appearing in hearing on a criminal defamation complaint filed against him for his alleged “scorpion” remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vishal Pahuja imposed the cost on the Lok Sabha member from Thiruvananthapuram noting that he had failed to appear before him despite the court’s earlier direction.

The court was hearing the complaint filed by Delhi BJP leader Rajeev Babbar, who claimed that his religious sentiments were hurt. “I am a devotee of Lord Shiva… However, the accused (Tharoor) completely disregarded the sentiments of crores of Shiva devotees, made the statement which hurt the sentiments of all the Lord Shiva devotees, both in India and outside the country,” the complaint said.

“The complainant’s religious sentiments were hurt and accused deliberately did this malicious act, intending to outrage religious feeling of Lord Shiva devotees by insulting their religious believes,” it said.

The complaint, filed through advocate Neeraj, termed the statement as an “intolerable abuse” and “absolute vilification” of the faith of millions of people. The complaint was filed under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code relating to defamation.

Tharoor had claimed that an unnamed RSS leader had compared Modi to “a scorpion sitting on a Shivling.”

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