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HomeindiaCash-for-query row: HC reserves order on Mahua Moitra’s plea against defamatory content

Cash-for-query row: HC reserves order on Mahua Moitra’s plea against defamatory content

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday reserved its judgment in a plea by expelled MP and Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra for interim injuction against BJP MP Nishikant Dubey and advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai from making any defamatory statements against her.

Both the defendants alleged that the leader accepted bribes from businessman Darshan Hiranandani to ask questions in Parliament against the Adani Group.

Justice Sachin Datta wrapped up the preliminary hearing in a defamation suit by Moitra against Dubey and Dehadrai.

Appearing for Dehadrai, senior advocate Sanjoy Ghosh, and advocate Abhimanyu Bhandari for Dubey, claimed that there was a quid pro quo as Moitra received gifts and benefits from Hiranandani for putting questions favoring his business interests.

They also referred to the Ethics Committee’s report, in support of their charge, which led to Moitra’s expulsion.

The court asked the defendants to submit the relevant extract of the Ethics Committee report.

Advocate Samudra Sarangi countered the allegations claiming that the gifts received were due to Moitra and Hiranandani’s friendship and were not exchanged for raising questions in Parliament.

He asked the court to restrain Dubey and Dehadrai from making defamatory statements, emphasizing that the Ethics Committee’s report cannot be relied upon.

Ghosh, however, contended that a significant number of Moitra’s questions were related to Hiranandani’s business interests and there was documentary evidence that Moitra’s credentials were used to log in from Kolkata, Delhi, and New Jersey on the same day.

On December 8, the Lok Sabha passed a resolution to expel 49-year-old Moitra from Parliament in view of the Ethics Committee recommending her disqualification as an MP from Krishnanagar in West Bengal.

She has separately challenged the decision before the Supreme Court which is slated to come up for hearing on January 3, 2024.

(Published 20 December 2023, 12:17 IST)

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