NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued summons to Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray, his son and party MLA Aaditya Thackeray, party MP Sanjay Raut, and others on a defamation suit moved by Shiv Sena MP Rahul Shewale of Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s faction.
A single-judge bench of Justice Prateek Jalan admitted the defamation lawsuit filed by Shewale for allegedly levelling frivolous corruption allegations against him and Eknath-faction and issued summons to Uddha, Aaditya and Sanjay.
Shewale had filed the defamation suit against the three for certain statements alleging that the Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction bought the party symbol for Rs 2,000 crore.
The High Court issued notice to the defendants Google and Twitter, to respond to the plea seeking the removal of alleged defamatory content from the social media platforms while posting the matter for April 17. Shewale’s counsel Senior Advocate Rajiv Nayar said, “I am appalled at some of the statements which are directed at independent institutions.”
The high court, however, observed that regarding summons or notice on the application is concerned, the defendants also should get an opportunity to respond and also orally remarked that these are ‘political fights.’
“As far as institutions are concerned, they have to stand for themselves. ECI’s shoulders are broad enough to take all this. Like the courts, people say all kinds of things about the courts also,” Justice Jalan said.
Shewale’s counsel pointed out an allegation of Rs 2,000 crores related to the Election Commission. The judge said that it is not about whether the court’s conscience is shocked or not.
“The question is whether in the free marketplace of ideas are people entitled to say things which might shock my conscience. Ultimately he will have to stand on his two legs. The truth of his statement will ultimately have to come out,” the court said.
Further, the court said it does not wish to give a prima facie finding at this stage.
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