A Delhi court on Wednesday reserved its order on whether to frame defamation and other charges against Congress MP Shashi Tharoor for his “scorpion on a Shivling” remark referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, PTI reported. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal said he will announce the order on August 27.

Vishal said this after hearing arguments by Tharoor’s counsel and senior advocate Salman Khurshid. Khurshid told the court that the complaint, made by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Rajeev Babbar, was not maintainable because Babbar was not an aggrieved party.

The case

Speaking at the Bangalore Literature Festival in October last year, Tharoor had claimed Modi’s “personality cult” did not sit very well with many people in the RSS. He claimed there was an “extraordinarily striking metaphor” with which an RSS member expressed the organisation’s frustration with its “inability to curb Modi”. He then cited the RSS functionary as saying: “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”.

Delhi BJP leader Babbar had filed a criminal defamation complaint against the Congress MP. In his complaint, Babbar claimed Tharoor had hurt the sentiments of Shiva devotees. “I am a devotee of Lord Shiva,” he had 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 “absolute vilification” of the faith of millions of people.

In June, the court had granted Tharoor bail in the case.