The Supreme Court on Tuesday quashed a criminal defamation complaint against Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav regarding his remarks against Gujaratis.
Justices Abhay S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan quashed the complaint after Yadav retracted his “only Gujaratis can be thugs” statement.
“We have quashed the case as the petitioner (Yadav) withdrew his statements on record. Accordingly disposed of,” stated the bench while passing the order.
The apex court’s decision came in response to Yadav’s plea seeking the transfer of the criminal defamation complaint, pending against him in an Ahmedabad court over his remarks on Gujaratis, to a ‘neutral place’, preferably Delhi. Yadav’s counsel informed the bench earlier that he had retracted his remark, and the Supreme Court acknowledged a statement of apology.
Earlier, the bench had stayed the proceedings in the criminal defamation complaint.
The complaint against the RJD leader was filed by Hareshbhai Mehta, the vice president of an organization named the All India Anti-Corruption and Crime Preventive Council. Filed under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for alleged criminal defamation, it was submitted before a magistrate court in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, following Yadav’s purported statement that “only Gujaratis can be thugs.”
In the defamation case, Mehta contended that Yadav’s statement, made in public, labeled the entire Gujarati community as thugs, causing defamation and humiliation to all Gujaratis in public.