Siddaramaiah sends Rs 100 cr defamation notice to Narendra Modi, Amit Shah

Siddaramaiah sends Rs 100 cr defamation notice to Narendra Modi, Amit Shah

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah during 'Meet the Press' programme at the Press Club in Bengaluru on Sunday.PTI Photo

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday issued a legal notice to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for "criminal and civil defamation" and claimed damages to the tune of Rs 100 crore if he failed to tender an "unconditional public apology". 

The notice names four respondents — BJP general secretary, Modi, BJP national president Amit Shah and BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa in that order. The advocate representing Siddaramaiah is V S Ugrappa, who is also a Congress MLC.

According to the six-page notice, the BJP has published and telecast political advertisements "which are false and defamatory". The notice takes exception to Modi's speeches in which he accused the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government of corruption through remarks such as "10% sarkar", "Seedha Rupaiya", "ease of doing murders" and the charge that the Hublot watch was a "kickback".

"...with an intention to malign my client's image, you have made such baseless, untrue and false remarks," the notice states.

The BJP's advertisements entitled 'Siddha Sarkara' contain "false information and cast aspersions on the character and integrity of my client", the notice states. Siddaramaiah's image has been "tarnished irreparably and defamed which cannot be quantified and compensated in monetary terms". By using Siddaramaiah's likeness in the advertisements, the notices accused the BJP of projecting him as "active and/or complicit in all those reprehensible acts...thus caused him severe mental agony and anguish."

The notice states that the BJP had committed offences punishable under IPC sections 499, 500, 501 and 502.

Separately, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister H K Patil and the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) legal cell filed a complaint with the Election Commission against the prime minister on Monday. In the complaint, they claimed Modi violated the model code of conduct by promising the resolution of the Mahadayi water dispute during his speech at Gadag on May 5.