A Sangrur court has issued a notice to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge in a Rs 100-crore defamation suit filed against him for remarks mad against the Bajrang Dal and comparing it to the outlawed Popular Front of India (PFI) in his party’s Karnataka poll manifesto.
Civil Judge (junior division) Sangrur Ramandeep Kaur issued the notice on May 12 on a petition filed by Hindu Suraksha Parishad national president Hitesh Bhardwaj.
The court fixed the date for filing of reply to the notice as July 10. Advocate Lalit Kumar Garg appeared for plaintiff.
"Suit received by entrustment. Office report seen. It is registered. Let notice to defendant be issued through ordinary process and registered post for July 10," the order stated.
The plaintiff claimed the respondent issued an election manifesto before the state of Karnataka for the elections.
"In the said manifesto, at para number 10, the defendant issued defamatory statements against the Bajrang Dal, a unit of the Hindu Suraksha Parishad, by declaring to ban the organisation and comparing it to outlawed organisations like the Popular Front of India (PFI),” the petitioner submitted.
The petitioner’s lawyer Lalit Garg contended, “The comparison of the Bajrang Dal with the PFI has impaired the name and honour of the members of the Bajrang Dal and the Hindu Suraksha Parishad, who number in the crores, and also defames the followers of Lord Hanuman, who is reverentially worshipped by crores of Hindu practitioners and others."
The petitioner has demanded special damages on account of injury inflicted to their reputation and honour and “he has filed a Rs 100-crore defamation suit”, Bhardwaj’s counsel said.
Garg said that the Bajrang Dal, which is a social organisation, has done many works for humanity.
In its Karnataka poll manifesto, the Congress said it is committed to take firm and decisive action against individuals and organisations such as Bajrang Dal and PFI “spreading hatred” among communities on the grounds of caste and religion.
The action will include a “ban” against such organisations, the party had said.