TMC MP, Mahua Moitra, who has been eulogised as a ‘rising star’ ever since she got elected as an MP, has been put to trial by a Delhi Court in a defamation case filed by Zee Media. Additional Chief Additional Metropolitan Magistrate Vishal Pahuja framed charges against the TMC MP under Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 relating to defamation.
In framing charges, the Court accepted the arguments put forth by the counsel for Zee Media by advocate Vijay Aggarwal that there was enough evidence against Moitra to put her on trial. The offence of defamation provides for a simple imprisonment that may extend to two years, or a fine, or both.
Earlier, the Court had granted bail to Moitra on a personal bond of ₹20,000. She had appeared before the Court in pursuance of the summons issued against her. The Court had earlier asked the parties whether there was any scope of settlement between them. The suggestion was however declined by the TMC MP, stating that she already had a “substantive” case separately going on in another Court. The Zee journalist had been summoned on November 4 in that case filed by the TMC MP.
Zee Media had filed this criminal defamation case against the lawmaker from the Mamata Banerjee led party, Mahua Moitra for calling the news channel “chor (thief)” and “paid news”. The complaint against her had alleged, “Ms. Moitra had on July 3 made defamatory statements against the company. She knowingly made several frivolous, false, malicious and derogatory statements.”
Before this case, the TMC had filed a criminal case of defamation against Zee News editor Sudhir Chaudhary. The case related to her maiden speech in the Lok Sabha on the ‘7 signs of fascism’. Sudhir Chaudhary, in his broadcast, had mentioned an article on an American website and stated, “This is the article from the American website which Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra copied/plagiarised in her speech.” Things had escalated after that with Moitra first bringing a privilege motion against Chaudhary in the Parliament and then filing a criminal defamation case against the Zee journalist. However, it seems like her stunts have backfired.
Zee Media and Sudhir Chaudhary appear to have decided not to tolerate the antics of Mahua Moitra who incidentally lectured on ‘fascism’ only to move a privilege motion against the journalist later on. The Trinamool Congress MP has been called out for her blatant hypocrisy with regards to fascism.