The Delhi High Court on Friday summoned Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Pawan Khera and Netta D’souza in connection with a defamation case filed by Union minister Smriti Irani. The three Congress leaders have also been asked by the High Court to delete tweets alleging that the Union minister’s 18-year-old daughter was “operating an illegal bar in Goa”.
Hearing the case today, the Delhi High Court asked the Congress leaders to appear before it on August 18 and gave them 24 hours to delete the tweets carrying the allegations against Irani’s daughter. The court noted that if they failed to delete the tweets immediately, they would have to be taken down by Twitter.
Reacting to the order, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh thanked the court for giving the leaders the opportunity to present facts. “The Delhi High Court has issued notice asking us to formally reply to the case filed by Smriti Irani. We look forward to presenting the facts before the court. We will challenge and disprove the spin being put out by Ms. Irani,” the former Union minister tweeted. The post by Ramesh was retweeted by Khera and D’souza.
Union minister Smriti Irani had shot off a legal notice to the three Congress leaders and their party last week demanding an unconditional apology and the immediate withdrawal of allegations against her daughter.
“The false allegations were intended to hurt the reputation of our client as a minister and a person in public life, and also to outrage her modesty and that of her daughter,” read the notice sent by Irani.
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera had earlier said at a press conference that there are serious charges of corruption against Irani’s family. He further said that Irani’s daughter was allegedly running a restaurant in Goa where a bar was functioning on a ‘fake license’. Smriti Irani had denied that charge and claimed that her daughter is a student and her daughter’s name does not figure in any of the documents.
“Her fault is that her mother held a press conference against the two Gandhis. My daughter is not a politician and she has a normal life as a student,” Irani had said, denying the charges levelled against her daughter by the Congress leaders.