SC clubs FIRs against Pawan Khera for linking Modi to Gautam Adani, extends his bail
The Congress leader had referred to the PM as ‘Narendra Gautamdas Modi’ in an apparent jibe on his proximity with the industrialist.
The Supreme Court on Monday ordered that the three cases against Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera for making allegedly disparaging remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be clubbed and transferred to Lucknow, reported Bar and Bench.
The court also extended his interim bail till April 10.
Khera has been named in two first information reports registered Uttar Pradesh and one in Assam. At a press conference in February, the Congress leader had referred to the prime minister as “Narendra Gautamdas Modi” – instead of Narendra Damodardas Modi – in an apparent jibe to link him with industrialist Gautam Adani.
Khera was criticising the Modi government over the crisis triggered by a report of American firm Hindenburg Research, alleging that the Adani Group had improperly used offshore tax havens and manipulated stock. Opposition leaders have accused the prime minister of favouring Gautam Adani, the founder of the conglomerate.
On February 23, the Assam Police had deplaned and arrested Khera at the Delhi Airport when he was heading to Raipur on an Indigo flight for the Congress’ plenary session along with other leaders of the party. On the same day, the Supreme Court had granted him interim bail.
The Assam Police had registered the FIR based on a complaint by Samuel Changsan, a member of the North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council. Changsan had alleged that Khera’s comments were part of a “wider conspiracy to degrade and destabilise our nation by defaming and disreputing the person, who is holding a high constitutional post”.
At Monday’s hearing, a bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala said that Khera will be allowed to apply for regular bail after his interim protection ends.