A city court on Wednesday issued summons to BJP president Amit Shah directing him to appear on September 28 in connection with a defamation case filed by Abhishek Banerjee, Trinamool Youth Congress chief and nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Abhishek Banerjee filed the criminal defamation case before the Metropolitan Magistrate, 8th of Bankshall court here alleging that the BJP president has made defamatory statements against him at a public rally on August 11 in Kolkata.
Banerjee, also a Trinamool Congress MP, appeared in court along with two witnesses - Swarup Biswas and Soumya Bakshi, and submitted their written statements.
The metropolitan magistrate issued summons to Shah for appearing in court on September 28.
“Your attendance is necessary to answer to a charge of U/S 500 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860,” the order said.
Section 500 of the IPC deals with allegations of defamation.
On August 13, the chief minister’s nephew sent a legal notice to Shah, demanding an apology from him for allegedly making defamatory statements against him.
The notice to Shah said, “In the course of your speech you had made various allegations against my client by making a flimsy and thinly veiled reference and/or insinuation to the ‘bhatija’ (nephew) of the Hon’ble Chief Minister of the State of West Bengal.
“Since, it is well known that my client is the nephew of Smt. Mamata Banerjee and is actively involved in politics, the contents of your speech left little to the imagination of my client’s well-wishers that you were referring to my client.”
Abhishek Banerjee’s lawyer Sanjay Basu claimed the “false statements” against his client has caused grave loss and prejudice to his reputation.
Basu said his client “denies the allegation that he is involved in any purported diversion of public and/or government funds to the tune of Rs 3,59,000 crore or any other sum purportedly allotted from the Centre to the State of West Bengal”.
He also demanded that Shah desist from making or circulating defamatory statements causing publication of the same in any media against his client.