A Delhi court on Friday took cognisance of a criminal defamation complaint a Bharatiya Janata Party leader had filed against Congress MP Shashi Tharoor for his “scorpion” remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, PTI reported. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal said Delhi BJP leader Rajiv Babbar’s complaint would be recorded on December 22, PTI reported.

On October 28, Tharoor had described an “extraordinarily striking metaphor” a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh member had used to express the organisation’s frustration with its “inability to curb Modi”. He said the alleged remark by the RSS leader appeared in a magazine article published in 2012. The RSS functionary had said, according to him: “Modi is like a scorpion sitting on a Shivling, you cannot remove him with your hand and you cannot hit it with a chappal either.”

In his complaint, Rajeev Babbar claimed Tharoor had hurt the sentiments of Shiva devotees. “I am a devotee of Lord Shiva,” he said. “However, the accused completely disregarded the sentiments of crores of Shiva’s devotees, made the statement which hurt the sentiments of all the Lord Shiva devotees, both in India and outside the country.” The complainant claimed Tharoor’s statement was “intolerable abuse” and and “absolute vilification” of the faith of millions of people.

Tharoor, however, had called the case “frivolous”.