New Delhi : The Delhi High Court on Tuesday re-notified the hearing to December 11 in Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra’s defamation case against BJP MP Nishikant Dubey and advocate Jai Dehadrai, following what she alleged were false and defamatory accusations against her in connection with the cash-for-query row.
Justice Sachin Datta allowed Moitra’s counsel to file an amended petition in the case after he was told that there have been “substantial developments” in the form of social media posts by Dubey and Dehadrai.
The court had asked the counsel in October to file an amended memo of parties and had re-notified the matter for Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the court was apprised that an application has been moved for interim relief against one of the defendants for allegedly posting against the plaintiff.
Last time, Moitra told the court that she did not wish to press the interim application against various media outlets and social media platforms at this point in her defamation suit.
Moitra had moved the high court against Dubey, Dehadrai, 15 media organisations and three social media intermediaries following what she alleged were false and defamatory accusations against her.
Dubey’s counsel, advocate Abhimanyu Bhandari had earlier argued that Moitra has committed perjury and that she also shared her Parliament login credentials.
Last time, senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan withdrew from appearing for Moitra.
Dehadrai, who had appeared in person, informed the court that Sankaranarayanan contacted him proposing that he withdraw his CBI complaint in exchange for custody of the dog, Henry. Henry had become a subject of dispute between Dehadrai and Moitra, with both accusing each other of “stealing” the dog, leading to complaints filed with the Delhi Police.
The defamation suit came after Moitra issued a legal notice to Dubey, Dehadrai, and several media outlets, vehemently denying any wrongdoing.
Dubey had lodged a complaint with the Lok Sabha Speaker, claiming that Moitra had accepted bribes in exchange for raising questions in Parliament.
“By way of background, it is stated that Defendant No. 2 (Dehadrai) was a close friend of the Plaintiff and recently, the cessation of this friendship soon took an acrimonious turn. Defendant No. 2 resorted to sending vile, threatening, vulgar messages to the Plaintiff and also trespassed into Plaintiff’s official residence and stole some personal possessions of the Plaintiff,” Moitra’s plea reads.
Moitra had then allegedly filed two police complaints dated March 24 and September 23 against Dehadrai and the same were later withdrawn by her on account of settlement talks.
“Despite the aforesaid, Defendant No. 2 went ahead and decided to tarnish and malign the reputation of the Plaintiff by approaching credible journalist to run damaging stories against the Plaintiff, however, none of such journalists agreed to participate in his malicious and vindictive designs,” the plea states.
Her legal notice said that Dubey, for immediate political gains, regurgitated the false and defamatory allegations contained in the letter sent to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. It further claimed that both Dubey and Dehadrai are directly responsible for tarnishing Moitra’s reputation for their own personal and political motives.
The notice went on to clarify that Moitra has never accepted any form of remuneration or gifts related to her duties as an MP, including the questions she raises in Parliament. Regarding the alleged links between the questions raised by Moitra and private individuals, the legal notice dismissed these claims as “laughable” and lacking any specificity or concrete evidence.