BJP leader files criminal defamation complaint against Tharoor

New Delhi: A BJP leader on Saturday filed a criminal defamation complaint against Congress Lok Sabha member Shashi Tharoor for his comment that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “a scorpion seated on a Shivling” and sought Rs 5 crore as compensation.

Bhartiya Janata Party leader Rajeev Babbar who has filed the complaint told the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal that Tharoor made the statement with mala fide intention, which not only denigrates the Hindu deity but is also defamatory.

Babbar requested the court to initiate proceeding against Tharoor under Section 499/500 (defamation) of Indian Penal Code.

Tharoor, while speaking at Bangalore Literature Festival on October 28, said: “Modi is like a scorpion sitting on a Shivling. You cannot remove him with your hand and you cannot hit it with a ‘chappal’ (slipper) either.” Tharoor has quoted it recalling what an RSS member had told a journalist in 2012.

“The statement of the accused (Tharoor) was made with ulterior motives to malign the image of Modi and gain cheap political mileage in elections,” according to the complaint filed by Advocate Neeraj.

“Moreover, the accused is a senior leader of Congress and a Member of Parliament so his speeches are likely to be taken more seriously and have the potential to create bad perception among the people,” the complaint said.

Babbar said he was hurt by the comment as the statement is not only baseless but is also misleading and defamatory. He also told the court that he treats Modi as an inspiration, and has the highest regards for the prime minister.

The court has listed the complaint for further hearing on November 16.