Irani case: Delhi HC orders Congress leaders to remove tweets
Amid the ongoing illegal bar row in Goa, Union Minister Smriti Irani scored a big win in a defamation suit against Congress leaders. The Delhi High Court on Friday asked three Congress bigwigs to take down tweets and social media posts against Irani and her daughter Zoish. The leaders have also been summoned by the court.
Why does this story matter?
Irani sent a legal notice to Congress over allegations of her daughter running a bar on an illegal license in Goa. The senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader is a staunch critic of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and has vociferously spoken against them for alleged corruption in the National Herald case. Therefore, the current complaint over acquiring an illegal license questions her credibility.
Big win in round one of defamation suit
Jairam Ramesh, Pawan Khera, and Netta D'Souza have been ordered to delete tweets, social media posts, and videos against Irani and her daughter within 24 hours. The social media platforms have been directed to delete the tweets if the politicians fail to do so. The court also summoned them on August 18 in the Rs. 2 crore defamation case.
What did the court say?
Justice Mini Pushkarna observed that Irani had made out a prima facie case and balance of convenience was in her favor. "I am of the prima facie view that slanderous allegations were made against the plaintiff without verifying actual facts. Grave injury has been caused to the reputation of the plaintiff," the Delhi High Court said.
Congress responds to Delhi HC
Here's what the defamation suit said
Irani's petition essentially targeted the Congress leaders for making defamatory statements without looking into the details of the case. It reiterated Irani's stand that they do not own the restaurant and have not applied for license renewal. The petition accused Congress leaders of "peddling lies by stating that the applicant's daughter is indulging in corrupt practices under the patronage and knowledge of the applicant."
Congress alleged Irani's daughter got fraud license
Congress demanded Irani's resignation over her daughter allegedly running an illegal bar in Goa with a falsely procured license. The party claimed that the license had been acquired in the name of a deceased person. In Panaji, Congress's state chief showed a video clip of her daughter being interviewed as a "young entrepreneur" and the restaurant, Silly Souls, being introduced as "her restaurant."
Liquor license renewed under deceased person's name
The Silly Soulscafe made headlines after reports of the team acquiring a liquor license under the name of a deceased man surfaced. After an RTI-based complaint by lawyer Aires Rodrigues, Goa's excise commissioner reportedly issued a show-cause notice on Thursday. It was found that one Anthony Dgama applied for the license renewal on June 22, 2022, despite having passed away in May 2021.