Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has filed a criminal defamation complaint against Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad for calling him an “accused in a case of murder”, The Indian Express reported on Monday.
Tharoor sent a legal notice to Prasad in October after the minister made the remark and demanded unconditional apology. Tharoor, who represents Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram in the Lok Sabha, had also called upon the minister to delete a tweet on the matter along with the video clip of the press conference.
The minister, however, refused to apologise saying “there arises no question of any apology or deleting of the tweet”. Referring to his remark, Prasad’s lawyer said the trial in the case of the death of the Congress leader’s wife Sunanda Pushkar “is ongoing and one cannot predict the outcome of the trial”. “It is stated that your client was and is accused in relation to death of Pushkar.”
Prasad had made the remark after Tharoor, quoting from a news article from 2012, referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a “scorpion sitting on a Shivling [idol of Hindu god Shiv]”.
Tharoor has been charged under sections 498A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code for Pushkar’s death. The matter is being heard in a court in Delhi.
Meanwhile, a trial court in Kerala has summoned Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami in connection with criminal defamation proceedings initiated by Tharoor, reported Bar and Bench. The Congress MP has accused Goswami of making baseless statements about Pushkar’s death.