The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to Union Minister Smriti Irani in a case regarding two cross defamation complaints filed by Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam and the Bharatiya Janata Party leader against each other.
The Delhi High Court on December 19 had refused to quash the criminal defamation case filed against Nirupam by Irani. The single-judge bench comprising Justice R.K. Gauba had observed that the defamation case filed by Nirupam was a counter to the defamation complaint filed by Irani, and that the case filed was an afterthought and no sufficient reasons were given with respect to the delay in filing the complaint.
In December 2012, during Gujarat Assembly elections, Irani and Nirupam had locked horns during a debate on national television. Nirupama had made derogatory remarks about Irani’s career in Indian television and as a novice in the political arena. Irani in January 2013 filed a criminal defamation case against Nirupam.
In March 2013, a magisterial court passed an order summoning Nirupam to the court pertaining to the defamation case, following which Nirupam also filed a defamation case against Irani saying that she had made “scurrilous, defamatory and derogatory comments" about him.
In June 2014, a trial court in Delhi issued summons to Irani for the defamation case filed against her. She approached the Delhi High court pleading the quashing of the order and the complaint filed against her by Nirupam.
On December 19, the Delhi High Court quashed the orders of the trial court against Irani, citing lack of sufficient material to continue the case. However, a similar plea made by Nirupam was refused.
Today, a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta, and Sanjiv Khanna agreed to hear Nirupam’s plea and said will examine the case at length.