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Bengaluru court summons Rahul Gandhi, Siddaramaiah, DK Shivakumar in defamation complaint by BJP

A local court in Karnataka on Tuesday summoned Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar in a defamation complaint filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party over an advertisement that alleged BJP of indulging in corruption during its tenure. 

Taking cognisance of the case made out by BJP, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Preeth J. issued the summons and listed the case for further hearing on July 27.

BJP Secretary S. Keshava Prasad had filed a private defamation complaint against the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) for releasing an advertisement that carried ‘rates’ allegedly for the appointment and transfer of various positions in the state government under the BJP rule. 

The advertisement further accused BJP of indulging in corruption in various government departments and also specified the ‘commissions’ charged by them. As per the advertisement, ’40 percent Sarkar’ or the ‘trouble engine Sarkar’ had plundered over Rs 1,50,000 crore from the people of Karnataka in the last four years.

The lawyer representing the BJP denied the claims made in the advertisement, calling them baseless and irrational. He contended that these false allegations were deliberately made to defame BJP.

The Counsel further apprised the court that Rahul Gandhi had shared the said advertisement on his Twitter account, while images of Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar appeared in the advertisement itself.

The Indian National Congress (INC) was sent a legal notice to withdraw the allegations made in the advertisement, but it did not comply with the demand, noted the petitioner.

He urged the court to take cognisance of the offence of defamation under Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Court (IPC) against the accused.

(Case title: BJP vs KPCC)

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