Defamation case: Mumbai court asks Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut to appear on August 6 to record plea

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A metropolitan magistrate court in Mumbai on Monday directed Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut to remain present before it on August 6 to record his plea in connection with a defamation complaint filed by BJP leader Kirit Somaiya’s wife Medha.
On the said date, Raut will inform the court if he would plead guilty in the case and the magistrate would accordingly either proceed with the trial or award the penalty.
The magistrate on July 13 cancelled the bailable warrant against Raut after he appeared in court and posted further hearing to July 18.
The warrant was issued earlier this month after the Sena leader failed to appear before the magistrate’s court. Last month, the court issued summons against Raut directing him to be present before it.
A bailable warrant of Rs 5,000 was issued under section 70 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) as neither Raut nor his lawyer was present in the court and an application was filed for the warrant, Medha’s lawyer Vivekanand Gupta said.
Medha, a professor of organic chemistry, filed the defamation complaint alleging that Raut had made baseless allegations to defame her. Her plea before the court said that on April 12 she came across an article in the Sena mouthpiece Saamana accusing the Somaiyas of a “toilet scam” in the Mira-Bhayander municipal corporation. She said the allegations in the article and other media after the publishing of the story in Saamana were without proof and with an intention to malign her reputation.
“These documents and video clips produced on record prima facie reveal that the accused had made defamatory statements against the complainant (Medha) on April 15 and April 16, so that it will be seen by the public at large and read by the public in the newspapers. It is also prima facie proved by the complainant that the words spoken by accused Sanjay Raut were such that it has harmed the reputation of the complainant,” the court had said in its order last month, while issuing the summons to Raut.

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