AHMEDABAD: A court in Ahmedabad Wednesday issued summons to Congress president Rahul Gandhi in response to a criminal defamation suit filed by a BJP worker for calling BJP chief Amit Shah a "murder accused".
Additional chief metropolitan magistrate D S Dabhi issued a summons, returnable on July 6, holding that prima facie (on the face of it) there was a case of criminal defamation against Gandhi under section 500 of the IPC.
Krishnavadan Brahmbhatt, a local BJP corporator stated in the complaint that Gandhi, at an election rally in Jabalpur on April 23, said, "Murder-accused BJP chief Amit Shah, wah, kya shaan hai (how glorious)!" Brahmbhatt contended that Gandhi's remark was defamatory as Shah, in 2015, was acquitted by a CBI court in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh encounter case.
Neither the High Court nor the Supreme Court entertained challenge to Shah's acquittal, he said.
"Gandhi (thus) committed offence of defamation as per sections 499 and 500 of the IPC," he said.
The CBI court's January 2, 2015 order acquitting Shah got wide publicity and was well known "in all political circles including that of the Congress", the complaint said.
After Gandhi's remark at the rally, Shah had hit back at him, pointing out that he had been acquitted in the case, and questioned Congress president's "legal knowledge".
Last month, another magistrate's court here had issued summons to Gandhi and Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala in a criminal defamation suit filed by the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank and its chairman.
Amit Shah is a director of the bank.
The suit alleged that the Congress leaders had claimed that the bank was involved in a scam to swap Rs 750 crore in scrapped notes with valid currency within five days of demonetisation in 2016.
In 2015, a special court discharged Shah in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati encounter cases, holding that there existed no case against him and that he had been implicated for political reasons.