Tejashwi Yadav charged with criminal defamation for calling Gujaratis thugs

Social worker and businessman Haresh Mehta filed the complaint against Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav

Tejashwi Yadav
The complaint stems from Tejashwi Yadav's statement made before the media in Patna on March 21, attributing Gujaratis to 'thugs' I File Photo

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav faced a criminal defamation complaint on Wednesday (April 26) in court for his alleged statement implying that “in the present circumstances, only Gujaratis can be thugs.”

The complaint was filed against the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader by social worker and businessman Haresh Mehta, 63, under Indian Penal Code sections 499 and 500 (dealing with criminal defamation) in the court of additional metropolitan magistrate DJ Parmar.

“We submitted the complaint along with proof in form of a pen drive containing the statement. The court has accepted the complaint and will verify it on May 1,” Mehta’s lawyer P R Patel said.

Also Read: ‘Modi surname’ case: Rahul gets relief as Patna HC stays trial proceedings

The complaint stems from 33-year-old Yadav’s statement made before the media in Patna on March 21.

“Only Gujaratis can be thugs in the present situation, and their fraud (crime) will be forgiven. Who will be responsible if they run away with the money belonging to LIC or banks?” the Bihar Deputy CM had allegedly said.

The complainant said the statement, calling the entire Gujarati community as “thug”, was made before the media. It defames and humiliates all Gujaratis in public.

A “thug” is a rogue, sly and a criminal person, and such a comparison with the entire community will cause non-Gujarati people to look at Gujaratis with suspicion, Mehta said while seeking issuance of summons against Yadav and maximum punishment for him under the law.

Also Read: Rahul to address rally in Kolar tomorrow where he made Modi surname remark

The complainant said he is also a Gujarati, and when he came across the news on a digital platform, he realised such a defamatory statement will make a non-Gujarati look down upon a resident of the state as a thug.

It may be noted that a court in Gujarat’s Surat city in March convicted and sentenced Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to two years in jail over his “Modi surname” remark. After the conviction, the former Congress president lost his Lok Sabha membership.

Separately, a court in Ahmedabad has issued summons to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh in a criminal defamation case filed by the Gujarat University over their remarks on the institute.

(With agency inputs)