Tharoor summoned by Delhi court over 'scorpion' remark

Tharoor had claimed in October last year that an unnamed RSS leader had compared Prime Minister Modi to "a scorpion sitting on a Shivlinga". PTI File photo

A Delhi court on Saturday issued summons against Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on a defamation complaint filed over his remarks that an unnamed RSS leader had compared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to "a scorpion sitting on a Shivaling".

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal sought personal appearance of the former Union minister on June 7 on the criminal defamation complaint filed by Delhi BJP leader Rajeev Babbar, who has said that his religious sentiments were hurt by the Congress leader's statement on October 28 at Bengaluru.

The Complainant said that he was “severely hurt and shocked” by the statement of the accused.

“He was anguished as the statement is not only baseless or unfounded but also misleading and defamatory,” his plea stated.

Babbar sought action against Tharoor under Section 499 and 500 of the IPC, which enjoined the maximum prison term of two year or fine or both. He also sought a compensation or cost of Rs five crore from the accused.

He claimed that the statement by Tharoor was made with ulterior motives to degrade the reputation of Modi, the BJP and its leaders and workers or supporters like him, to malign the image of the prime minister and to gain cheap political mileage in the elections.

“The complainant's religious sentiments were hurt and the accused deliberately did this malicious act, intending to outrage religious feelings of Lord Shiva's devotees by insulting their religious beliefs. This is an intolerable abuse and an absolute vilification of the faith of millions and millions of people,” his complaint stated.

Babbar said that he has locus standi to make the complaint as he is “directly and or indirectly aggrieved by the defamatory imputations made by the accused mala fidely with the intention to malign the reputation of Narender Modi and his workers/ supporters and members of the BJP”.

In his speech at the festival, Tharoor had said "...There is an extraordinarily striking metaphor expressed by an unnamed RSS source to a journalist which I quote, in which they express their frustration with their inability to curb Mr Modi.

"The man says Modi is like a scorpion sitting on a Shivaling. You cannot remove him with a hand and you cannot hit it with a chappal either," he had said.

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