New Delhi: Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam on Tuesday moved the Delhi High Court challenging a trial court order summoning him in a criminal defamation complaint filed by BJP MP Smriti Irani for allegedly using derogatory and indecent language against her during a TV debate last December.
The plea is likely to be listed for hearing tomorrow.
Filing the plea against the trial court`s March 11 order, Nirupam said the magistrate`s order taking cognizance of the complaint is "bad in law".
"The magistrate without application of mind and contrary to law came to take cognisance on the material to issue summons," the plea said.
Alleging that the complainant has suppressed material, the Congress leader said "there is nothing in the imputed sentences to make it defamation against Irani."
"The allegation made do not relate to the conduct of the respondent (Irani). The criticism, true or false or exaggerated about a politician or his role don`t make reflection on the moral or mental qualities of Irani, hence cannot be branded as defamation," the plea said and urged the court to quash the proceedings.
The plea said "The debate was at the spur of moment and the petitioner could not have harbored the intention to outrage the modesty as concluded by the magistrate without considering the attendant circumstances even if the allegations are considered true while denying the same."
"If a person innocently causes harm, then, she or he lacks mens rea....," the plea said adding "quash the complaint of January 1, 2013 and the summoning order of March 11.
Nirupam had allegedly made the controversial remarks against Irani`s character on December 20, 2012 during a debate on Gujarat Assembly election results on a news channel.
He had also allegedly questioned the credentials of BJP`s Mahila Morcha chief Irani to analyse poll results given her background as a TV actress.