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Congress leader Venugopal takes legal action against BJP's Sobha Surendran for defamation

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Alappuzha (Ker), Apr 2 (PTI) AICC General Secretary and Congress candidate in Kerala's Alappuzha Lok Sabha seat K C Venugopal has moved a court here, seeking legal action against his rival candidate Sobha Surendran of the BJP for her allegedly defamatory statements linking him with illegal mining operations.

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In a petition filed before the judicial first-class magistrate court through Congress leader and lawyer Mathew Kuzhalnadan, the Rajya Sabha MP alleged that Surendran had not provided any factual and/or legal basis for making such allegations against him.

He stated that Surendran, in an interview to a news channel, made "false, preposterous, and malicious allegations" with the "malicious intent" to harm the reputation that he holds in the community.

Venugopal accused Surendran of having made baseless allegations against him. He said she did not provide any evidence to back her claims.

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"The accused has intentionally disseminated and published false information against the complainant which has severely impacted the complainant's personal image, personality, and reputation, making him an object of ridicule to the general public," the complaint reads.

Venugopal alleged that Surendran's actions have not only damaged his reputation but have also caused him severe mental agony, hardships, and irreparable losses personally, professionally, and politically.

The complaint stated that the actions of the accused constitute an offence punishable under the law, including Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, which pertain to defamation.

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Surendran "welcomed" Venugopal's move but questioned the delay in moving the court and alleged that it was done only after erasing evidence against him.

She had said that Venugopal, while performing his duty as the union minister in the second UPA government, along with another minister elected from Rajasthan, had conducted illegal mining operations in Kerala with an intent to make illegal gain.

She had further stated that he was involved in certain benami transactions and has been making undue profits from various countries including Dubai, Qatar and Oman, according to the petition filed by Venugopal. PTI TGB ANE

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