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Allegation of conspiring against PM cannot be levelled irresponsibly, says Delhi HC

The court was hearing a lawsuit by BJD MP Pinaki Misra against lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai over his alleged defamatory tweets and statements.
Last Updated : 24 April 2024, 17:15 IST
Last Updated : 24 April 2024, 17:15 IST

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New Delhi: Delhi High Court on Wednesday said allegations of conspiring against the prime minister amount to treason and cannot be levelled irresponsibly without any cogent material.

The court was hearing a lawsuit by BJD MP Pinaki Misra against lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai over his alleged defamatory tweets and statements, including that the lawmaker -- along with expelled TMC MP Mahua Moitra -- conspired against the prime minister.

Justice Jasmeet Singh observed that while a politician cannot be "sensitive", Dehadrai should await the outcome of his complaint to the authorities and cannot be "trigger happy".

Moitra was expelled from the Lok Sabha on December 8 following accusations by Dehadrai, her former partner, that she took bribes from businessman and Hiranandani Group CEO Darshan Hiranandani to ask questions in Parliament.

"When you say conspiracy against the prime minister, it is troublesome. You can't be trigger happy ... Conspiracy against the prime minister is an offence against the state, (it is) treason," the court said during the hearing.

"It has serious repercussions on the general public ... Wait for the investigation (to conclude) before you say all this," it added.

Dehadrai and his counsel assured the court that he would not make further statements in relation to Misra 'conspiring' against the prime minister till the next date of hearing.

"Mr (Raghav) Awasthi, who appears for the defendant, assures the court that no allegation of the plaintiff being involved in any conspiracy against the prime minister will be made till the next date of hearing," the court recorded.

It added that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is already looking into the allegations and the dispute between Dehadrai and Moitra is also pending before the high court.

"Prima facie the allegation of conspiring against the prime minister is a serious allegation. The same tantamount to treason. The allegation of conspiring against the prime minister cannot be made irresponsibly and needs to be based on cogent and substantive reasons," the court said.

Taking the statement of the defendant on record, the court issued notices on the lawsuit to Dehadrai and two media houses, and listed it for further hearing in July.

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Published 24 April 2024, 17:15 IST

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