A court in Uttarakhand on Tuesday issued a third summons to Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in a defamation case filed by a Congress member, reported The New Indian Express.
The case pertains to Sarma’s derogatory remarks about Congress leader Rahul Gandhi that he made while addressing a rally in Uttarakhand ahead of the Assembly elections in the state last year.
The defamation plea contended that the Bharatiya Janata Party leader addressed Gandhi with animosity as he said: “When India conducted the surgical strike in Pakistan, Rahul Gandhi demanded proof of the strike. Did we ever ask you to prove that you are Rajiv Gandhi’s son?”
Uttarakhand Congress spokesperson Ganesh Upadhyay filed a complaint against Sarma in the district and sessions court in Udham Singh Nagar. Upadhyay said that the statement was derogatory as it insulted Rahul Gandhi’s mother Sonia Gandhi.
He said that the remarks cause “harm to the sentiments of a civilised society”, reported The Times of India.
The hearing in the case began on May 17. The court first summoned Sarma for a hearing on September 21 but he did not appear, reported the newspaper. Additional Sessions Judge Meena Deupa then sent another notice to Sarma to appear on October 17 but the BJP leader again skipped the hearing.
Following this, the court issued a third notice to Sarma on Tuesday summoning him on November 18.
“This ongoing legal battle raises questions about the consequences of indecent remarks by public figures and the response of the country’s leadership,” Upadhyay had told The Times of India last month. “Sarma cannot evade the court’s summons for long. Law will take its own course.”