Delhi HC seeks Mahua Moitra's stand on defamation suit by Jai Dehadrai

The court questioned Dehadrai's counsel on the urgency of seeking an interim order at this stage without awaiting Moitra's reply

Mahua Moitra in her constituency Krishnanagar (photo: @MahuaMoitra/X)
Mahua Moitra in her constituency Krishnanagar (photo: @MahuaMoitra/X)


The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued a summons to Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra in a lawsuit filed by lawyer and her estranged partner Jai Anant Dehadrai, seeking damages of Rs 2 crore for her alleged defamatory statements against him.

Justice Prateek Jalan also sought the stand of the expelled Lok Sabha MP on Dehadrai's plea seeking interim relief with respect to the publication of the alleged objectionable content on social and digital media.

Dehadrai's counsel said he was losing business and clients as a lawyer on account of Moitra's statements on social media. The court questioned Dehadrai's counsel on the urgency of seeking an interim order at this stage without awaiting Moitra's reply, adding it was not a case of victim and perpetrator as both were "warring parties" and the content was published over two months ago.

"This is as much your doing as anyone else. It is very difficult to paint yourself as a victim. You are both warring parties. There is no victim or perpetrator," justice Jalan remarked. "These are cases where half the battle is fought in court and half the battle is fought elsewhere."

Moitra was expelled from the Lok Sabha on 8 December 2023 following accusations by the plaintiff that she accepted bribes from businessman and Hiranandani Group CEO Darshan Hiranandani to ask questions against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Adani Group in Parliament.

Advocate Raghav Awasthi, appearing for the plaintiff, said his allegations against Moitra have been verified by a Parliamentary committee, the Lokpal, as well the high court, which recently refused to restrain him from posting content against her on social media.

It was best to give Moitra time to file a reply, the court said as it asked the politician to file her stand on the case. The court also asked social media platforms Google and X as well as certain media organisations to file their responses.

In the lawsuit filed through lawyer Mukesh Sharma, Dehadrai said after he filed a complaint with the CBI with respect to Moitra receiving illegal gratification for providing her Lok Sabha login credentials to a third party, she "embarked on a ceaseless campaign of slander and abuse" to disseminate "false, abusive, and defamatory statements'' against him.

The plea said Mahua's statements have lowered the plaintiff's esteem in the eyes of friends, family and colleagues as they portray him as a "person who has become bitter due to a failed personal relationship and is now filing false complaints to take revenge for the said reason".

The matter will be heard next on 8 April.

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