Delhi HC dismisses Mahua Moitra's plea for interim relief against defamatory content

Moitra sought restrictions against Nishikant Dubey, Jai Anant Dehadrai in her plea

Mahua Moitra Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra | PTI

The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed an interim plea by Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra, who was expelled from the Lok Sabha recently, seeking to restrain BJP MP Nishikant Dubey and advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai from posting or circulating any "fake and defamatory" content against her.

Justice Sachin Datta, while pronouncing the order, said "I have dismissed the injunction application". The high court had on December 20 reserved its order on the interim application after hearing the counsel for Moitra, Dubey and Dehadrai.

The expelled Lok Sabha member from Krishnanagar in West Bengal, in her plea filed in October last year, sought permanent injunction against Dubey, Dehadrai, social media platforms X, search engine Google, YouTube and 15 media houses from making, publishing, circulating per se defamatory, ex facie false and malicious statements against her. She has also sought damages.

She later deleted all media houses and social media intermediaries from the memo of parties and maintained her case only against Dubey and Dehadrai.

Dubey had accused Moitra of taking bribes from businessman and Hiranandani Group CEO Darshan Hiranandani for asking questions in Parliament. Citing a letter he received from advocate Dehadrai, Dubey said the latter shared with him "irrefutable" evidence of bribes allegedly having been paid to the TMC leader by the businessman.

In his letter to the Lok Sabha speaker, Dubey claimed 50 of the 61 questions she asked in the Lok Sabha till recently were focused on the Adani Group, the business conglomerate which the ex-TMC MP has often accused of malpractices, more so after it was at the receiving end of a critical report by short seller Hindenburg Research. Based on these allegations, the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee had suggested Moitra's removal from the lower house following which she was expelled on December 8, 2023.

Responding on the Court’s decision, Supreme Court lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai told ANI, "I am very grateful that the interim application that had been filed against me and MP Nishikant Dubey has been dismissed today. This was a completely mala fide attempt by certain individuals who wanted to silence us from speaking the truth about their corrupt, crooked activities. I remain committed to this fight. The real actor behind all of this, apart from the person who filed this, is a man from Odisha. I am grateful that this has happened today.”


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