Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Saturday said he was “surprised” by the criminal defamation complaint against him for his alleged “scorpion” remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as it questioned an author’s right to freedom of expression and hoped that the baseless case would be dismissed forthwith.
Pointing out that he had quoted the remark of an unnamed RSS activist mentioned in a 2012 article, Tharoor claimed that he had done nothing wrong but was ready to defend himself, if at all a legal notice was sent on this matter.
“I was surprised to hear about the defamation suit. I hope that the judge will throw (it) away on the basis of the actual fact, but if not, we certainly have to defend it. If there is a legal process, we will let it play out. Now-a-days our courts are being used as instruments of political persecution… if the judge issues a notice to respond, we will respond,” he said.
BJP leader Rajeev Babbar on Saturday filed a criminal defamation complaint against Tharoor in the Patiala House Courts for his comment that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “a scorpion seated on a Shivling” and sought Rs 5 crore as compensation.
Babbar told the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal that Tharoor made the statement with mala fide intention, which not only denigrated the Hindu deity but was also defamatory.