Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s son files a defamation case against Rahul Gandhi for ‘false allegations’ of involvement in Panama Papers
Bhopal: Kartikey Chouhan, son of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, on Tuesday filed a criminal defamation case against Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for alleging that his name figured in the Panama Papers.
Gandhi, meanwhile, said he mentioned the name of Chouhan’s son in the context of Panama Papers due to “confusion”. Gandhi, while addressing a rally in Jhabua district of the poll-bound Madhya Pradesh Monday, had said that the name of the son of mamaji, a chief minister, had figured in the Panama Papers but no action was taken against him.
Though Gandhi had not specifically identified the chief minister, he was referring to Chouhan who is popularly known as mamaji.
The defamation suit was filed by Kartikey Chouhan in the Special Court of Additional District Judge (ADJ) Suresh Singh through his lawyer Shirish Shrivastava.
In the suit, Kartikey Chouhan alleged that Gandhi intentionally gave the statement to defame him.
The criminal defamation case was filed under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Under these sections, a person guilty of criminal defamation can be sent to jail for two years.
The court posted the matter for 3 November when Kartikey Chouhan’s statement will be recorded.
“The statement of Rahul is intended to defame Chouhan and his family. When they (the Congress) failed to make a dent in the popularity of the chief minister, they are leveling allegations against his family and children. It was a clear intention. It was a well-planned statement,” his counsel Shrivastava said.
On Monday night, Kartikey Chouhan had said in a tweet, “Rahul Gandhi has made a false allegation of my involvement in Panama Papers. I am aggrieved as the image of mine and my family were damaged in a childish manner. If he (Gandhi) did not apologise within 48 hours, I am compelled to take strict legal action against him.”
Gandhi, while interacting with a select group of journalists in Indore on Tuesday, gave a clarification on the issue.
“For campaigning, I am touring Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan these days. The ruling BJP has indulged in so many scams and corruption that yesterday
(Monday) I got confused. In Panama Paper Leak case, Madhya Pradesh chief minister has no role, he said when asked about his controversial remarks made in Jabhua on Monday.
However, he reiterated his allegation that Chouhan has a “role” in scams like Vyapam and e-tendering among others. Gandhi had said on Monday, “Udhar Chowkidar, Idhar Mamaji. Mamaji ke jo beta hai, Panama Papers me unka naam nikalta hai. (On one side, you have the watchman, on the other side you have ‘mamaji’. The name of the son of ‘mamaji’ figured in Panama Papers).
“Nawaz Sharif Pakistan ke Prime Minister ka naam nikalta hai..Pakistan jaise desh me unko jail me daal dete hai. Magar Yahan ke chief minister ka beta, uska naam Panama Papers me nikalta hai to koi karyawai nahi hoti (The name of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appears in Panama Papers. In a country like Pakistan, he is jailed. Here, the name of the son of a chief minister figures in Panama Papers but no action is taken),” Gandhi had said at the rally.
The Panama Papers refer to 11.5 million leaked documents published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists with details of offshore entities set up by a Panamanian legal firm.
The papers had named several world leaders and celebrities as having stashed money abroad in offshore companies. They also included details of entities set up by
some Indian nationals. The leak had surfaced in 2016.