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Allegations of Conspiracy Against Prime Minister Equivalent to Treason : Delhi HC

Allegations of Conspiracy Against Prime Minister Equivalent to Treason : Delhi HC

Today, the Delhi High Court made a significant observation, stating that plotting against the Prime Minister is akin to treason. Moreover, the court emphasized that accusations of conspiracy against the Prime Minister should not be levied recklessly against anyone, as they carry grave implications.

Justice Jasmeet Singh emphasized that accusations of conspiracy against the Prime Minister must be grounded in cogent and substantial evidence. Irresponsible allegations in this regard are unacceptable, requiring a robust foundation before being made.

During the hearing of a defamation suit brought forth by Biju Janata Dal MP and Senior Advocate Pinaki Misra against Advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai, the court made the oral observation. Misra's lawsuit aims to prohibit Dehadrai from disseminating purportedly false and defamatory accusations against him.

The BJD leader has accused Dehadrai of leveling corruption allegations against him and using derogatory terms such as "Canning Lane" and "Oriya/Odia Babu" in his tweets.

Advocate Samudra Sarangi represented Misra, while Advocate Raghav Awasthi represented Dehadrai during the proceedings. Awasthi argued that if prima facie truth is demonstrated during the injunction stage, no injunction order can be issued. He cited a recent Supreme Court decision in the Bloomberg case, which discussed the Bonnard standard in this context.

Sarangi informed the court that Dehadrai's allegations against Misra include portraying the BJD leader as an orchestrator of a conspiracy aimed at the Prime Minister. Sarangi emphasized that his client's political party, the BJD, shares ideological alignment with the BJP and the Prime Minister.

Sarangi further asserted, "Without a court order, there will be no silencing. It must be halted through an injunction." In response to the court's inquiry about how Misra was targeting the Prime Minister, Awasthi explained that the allegation stemmed from the perceived close relationship between the BJD leader and Moitra.

Awasthi responded by stating that Dehadrai personally witnessed a conspiracy between Misra and Moitra. He also pointed out that this claim is supported by an affidavit sworn by businessman Darshan Hiranandani.

Dehadrai directly addressed the court, asserting that he personally witnessed conversations between Misra, Hiranandani, and Moitra, during which conspiracies were plotted to target the Prime Minister.

Sarangi emphasized that as a respected citizen and a sitting MP, Misra holds the Prime Minister in the highest regard and respect. During the court's process of dictating the order in the suit, Awasthi requested that the matter be adjourned to the following day to allow him to submit the CBI complaint, which he claimed would reveal Misra's involvement. However, the court did not accept this request. Consequently, the matter will proceed to be heard in the post-lunch session on the same day.

In the lawsuit, Misra has stated that following personal disagreements between Dehadrai and TMC leader Mahua Moitra, the lawyer launched a barrage of allegations not only against her but also against individuals with whom she had personal relationships, including the BJD leader.

Misra has asserted that Dehadrai published numerous tweets against him on Platform X using several pseudonyms coined by Dehadrai himself, such as "Canning Lane" and "Oriya/Odia Babu." Additionally, Misra stated that he was summoned by the CBI as part of a preliminary inquiry initiated by the Lokpal of India, concerning allegations of "cash for queries" against Mahua Moitra.

The suit clarifies that Misra has not been implicated in any manner in the CBI's FIR, nor have any allegations been made against him. Misra vehemently denies Dehadrai's accusation that he held Rs. 2 crores in cash to make purchases on behalf of Mahua Moitra for high-value items.

Misra is distressed by an interview conducted by Dehadrai with news agencies ANI and PTI following the hearing in his defamation case against Moitra. According to the suit, in this interview, Dehadrai for the first time mentions Misra and makes "wild, imaginary, false, reckless, and inherently defamatory allegations" against him.

Other defendants in the suit are ANI, PTI and X (formerly Twitter).

Title: PINAKI MISRA v. JAI ANANT DEHADRAI & ORS.

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