Delhi court takes cognisance of defamation complaint against Tharoor

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Friday took cognizance of the criminal defamation complaint filed against Congress leader Shashi Tharoor over his controversial “scorpion” remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The complaint was filed by Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rajeev Babbar, who said that the comment made by Tharoor hurt his religious sentiments. The statement of the complainant will be recorded on December 22.

Babbar, in his complaint, stated, “I am a devotee of Lord Shiva. However, the accused (Tharoor) completely disregarded the sentiments of crores of Shiva’s devotees, both in India and outside the country.”

“The complainant’s religious sentiments were hurt and accused deliberately did this malicious act, intending to outrage religious feeling of Lord Shiva devotees by insulting their religious beliefs,” the complaint read.

On October 28, Tharoor quoted an unnamed Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) source and launched a sharp attack on Prime Minister Modi, comparing him with a scorpion sitting on a ‘Shivling’.

Speaking at the launch event of his book ‘The Paradoxical Prime Minister’ at the Bengaluru Literature Festival, Tharoor said, “There’s an extraordinarily striking metaphor expressed by an unnamed RSS source to a journalist, who expressed their frustration to curb Modi — ‘Modi is like a scorpion sitting on a Shivling. You can’t remove him with your hand and you cannot hit it with a ‘chappal’ (slipper) either.”

“If you try to touch the scorpion, you will be stung, but if you hit a Shivling with the chappal, it undermines all the sacred tenets of the faith. That may well be an interesting clue to the rather complex dynamics that exist between the Hindutva movement and the Moditva expression on it,” he added.