The Supreme Court has dismissed the defamation complaint filed against Tejashwi Yadav.
February 13, 2024

The Supreme Court has dismissed the defamation complaint filed against Tejashwi Yadav.

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On February 13, the Supreme Court made a significant ruling by quashing the defamation complaint against Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav concerning his purported statement, “only Gujaratis can be thugs.” Justices A.S. Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan provided Mr. Yadav with relief after acknowledging his withdrawal of the statement. The Bench declared, “We have quashed the complaint,” effectively putting an end to the legal proceedings in this matter.

Earlier, on January 29, the Supreme Court had instructed Mr. Yadav to submit a “proper statement” formally retracting his alleged remark. Subsequently, on January 19, Mr. Yadav filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court withdrawing his alleged “Gujarati thugs” remark, complying with the Court’s directive.

The Supreme Court had intervened earlier by staying the proceedings in the criminal defamation complaint and issuing a notice to the Gujarat resident who initiated the complaint in an Ahmedabad court. The Gujarat court, in August, had initiated a preliminary inquiry against Mr. Yadav under Section 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, finding adequate grounds to summon him based on the complaint filed by Haresh Mehta, a local businessman and activist.

The crux of the matter lay in Mr. Yadav’s alleged statement made during a media interaction in Patna in March 2023, where he purportedly remarked, “Only Gujaratis can be thugs in the present situation, and their fraud will be forgiven.” Mr. Mehta, the complainant, contended that Mr. Yadav’s comments tarnished the reputation of all Gujaratis, prompting him to take legal action.

With the Supreme Court’s decision to quash the defamation complaint, Mr. Yadav has been absolved of legal liabilities pertaining to this matter. This ruling underscores the judiciary’s commitment to upholding principles of free speech and ensuring justice is served in accordance with the law.

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