The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to Union minister Smriti Irani that pertains to two cross defamation complaints filed by Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam and the BJP leader against each other.
In one case, the Delhi High Court had quashed the summons issued to Irani in a defamation complaint filed against her by Nirupam. The high court had however dismissed a similar plea of Nirupam seeking to set aside the summons issued against him in a cross defamation complaint filed by Irani.
The high court, on December 19 last year, had said the case against Nirupam will continue. On Monday, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi issued the notice to Irani on two appeals filed by Nirupam.
The Congress leader had challenged a magisterial court’s March 11, 2013 order summoning him in Irani’s defamation complaint against him. He had also sought quashing of the January 1, 2013 complaint filed by Irani.
In her plea, Irani had sought quashing of the summons issued to her by a trial court on June 6, 2014. She had also sought quashing of the complaint filed by Nirupam. The high court had advised both the leaders to arrive at a compromise with regard to the defamation cases they have filed against each other.
Nirupam had alleged that on December 20, 2012, when the Gujarat Assembly poll results were announced, the BJP leader had made “defamatory and scurrilous comments” against him during a television debate “by making direct aspersions on the character of the complainant (Nirupam)”.
He said he had sent a legal notice to Irani through his counsel, asking her to tender an “unconditional public apology” for allegedly making defamatory comments, but she did not reply to it.
Irani had filed a complaint against Nirupam for allegedly defaming her during the same TV debate and the court had framed charges against him for using derogatory and indecent language against the Union Textiles minister.
The court had put Nirupam on trial under Sections 500 (defamation) and 509 (uttering any word or making any gesture intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code. Irani had alleged in her complaint that Nirupam had questioned her credentials to analyse poll results given her background as a television actress.