Tejashwi Yadav's plea seeking transfer of defamation case: SC reserves order

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Tejashwi Yadav Supreme Court

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday reserved its order on a plea filed by RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav seeking transfer of the criminal defamation complaint pending against him in a Ahmedabad court over his alleged "only Gujaratis can be thugs" remark to a place outside the state, preferably Delhi.

A bench of Justices A S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan took on record a fresh statement of apology filed by Yadav.

"We will pass orders," the bench said.

The top court on January 29 had directed Yadav to file a "proper statement" withdrawing his alleged remark that "only Gujaratis can be thugs".

Yadav on January 19 filed an affidavit in the apex court withdrawing his alleged "Gujarati thugs" remark.

The top court, while hearing the RJD leader's plea, had earlier stayed the proceedings in the criminal defamation complaint and issued notice to the Gujarat resident who had filed it.

The complaint against Yadav was filed under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for alleged criminal defamation.

The Gujarat court had in August conducted a preliminary enquiry against Yadav under section 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and found sufficient grounds to summon him on the complaint filed by Haresh Mehta, a local businessman and activist.

According to the complaint, Yadav, while talking to the media in Patna in March 2023, had said, "Only Gujaratis can be thugs in the present situation, and their fraud will be forgiven." "Who will be responsible if they run away with the money belonging to the LIC or banks?" the then Bihar deputy chief minister had allegedly said.

Mehta claimed Yadav's comments defamed all Gujaratis.