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SC Adjourns Hearing On Tejashwi Yadav's Plea For Transferring Criminal Defamation Complaint Outside Gujarat

A bench of Justices A S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan deferred the matter after senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Yadav, sought time to seek instructions to file an affidavit on withdrawal of the alleged remarks made by his client.

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Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav
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The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned until January 22 the hearing on Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav's petition seeking transfer of the criminal defamation complaint pending against him in a magisterial court in Ahmedabad over his alleged "only Gujaratis can be thugs" remark to a place outside Gujarat, preferably Delhi.

A bench of Justices A S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan deferred the matter after senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Yadav, sought time to seek instructions to file an affidavit on withdrawal of the alleged remarks made by his client. 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 has filed it.

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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 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 Bihar Deputy CM had allegedly asked. Mehta claimed Yadav's comments defamed all Gujaratis.

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