Delhi HC Issues Summons to Mahua Moitra on Jai Dehadrai’s Defamation Lawsuit

Mahua Moitra

The Delhi High Court has issued summons to TMC leader Mahua Moitra in response to a lawsuit filed by her estranged friend seeking damages of Rs 2 crore for her alleged defamatory statements against him.

Justice Prateek Jalan has also sought the expelled Lok Sabha MP’s response to lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai’s plea seeking interim relief regarding the publication of purported objectionable content on social and digital media.

Dehadrai’s legal representative stated that he has suffered business and client losses due to Moitra’s statements on social media.

The court queried Dehadrai’s counsel about the urgency of seeking an interim order without awaiting Moitra’s reply, noting that both parties were “warring parties” and the content was published over two months ago.

“This is as much your doing as anyone else. It is very difficult to paint yourself as a victim. You are both warring parties. There is no victim or perpetrator,” remarked Justice Jalan.

“These are cases where half of the battle is fought in court and half the battle is fought elsewhere,” the judge added.

Moitra was expelled from the Lok Sabha on December 8 following accusations by the plaintiff that she accepted bribes from businessman and Hiranandani Group CEO Darshan Hiranandani to pose questions in Parliament.

Advocate Raghav Awasthi, representing the plaintiff, mentioned that his allegations against Moitra have been verified by a parliamentary committee, the Lokpal, and the high court, which recently declined to restrain him from posting content against her on social media.

The court suggested giving Moitra time to file a reply and instructed the politician to submit her stance on the case.

Additionally, the court requested social media platforms Google and X, as well as certain media organizations, to submit their responses.

In the lawsuit filed through lawyer Mukesh Sharma, Dehadrai stated that after he lodged a complaint with the CBI regarding Moitra receiving illegal gratification for unlawfully providing her Lok Sabha login credentials to a third party, she launched a relentless campaign of slander and abuse against him by disseminating false, abusive, and defamatory statements.

The plea noted that Moitra’s statements have tarnished the plaintiff’s reputation in the eyes of friends, family, and colleagues, portraying him as a person who has become bitter due to a failed personal relationship and is now filing false complaints for revenge.

The next hearing on the matter is scheduled for April 8, 2024.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte