TMC MP Saket Gokhale fined Rs 50 lakh in a defamation case

The Delhi High Court imposed a fine of Rs 50 lakh on TMC Rajya Sabha MP Saket Gokhale for making derogatory remarks against Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and his wife Laxmi Puri.
TMC MP Saket Gokhale fined Rs 50 lakh in a defamation case

The Delhi High Court imposed a fine of Rs 50 lakh on Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP Saket Gokhale for making derogatory remarks against Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and his wife and former diplomat Laxmi Puri on social media.

A bench headed by Justice Anup Jayaram Brahmani passed the order on Monday in a defamation case filed by Lakshmi in 2021. Judge Brahmani also directed Saket to apologize to Laxmi and post it on his X-handle. "The post in Saket should be on the X handle for at least six months. ’’

In a series of tweets in June 2021, Gokhale questioned an apartment bought by the Puri couple in Switzerland. He also tagged Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in tweets, demanding an Enforcement Directorate probe into the assets of former diplomat Lakshmi and her husband, Union Minister Hardeep. Later, Saket deleted the tweets on the orders of the Delhi High Court. But he was not spared from the defamation case.

Laxmi Puri had filed a defamation case against Gokhale. He demanded Rs 5 crore as compensation. He urged the court to direct the deletion of such false, untrue tweets against him and his family. On July 13, that year, the Delhi High Court directed Gokhale to delete all posts against Puri within 24 hours. The court also restrained the former bureaucrat from posting any more defamatory content. At the time, the court said it could make some changes in the order. The court had said that any citizen has the right to comment on the source of income of a government employee. However, before speaking publicly, an explanation should be sought from the person concerned or the administration. A bench headed by Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani directed Gokhale to pay a fine of Rs 50 lakh. The court also directed that the post be kept for six months while seeking an apology on the X-handle.

Like Laxmi Puri, her husband, Hardeep Singh Puri, is also a former bureaucrat. He is a 1974 batch IFS. He has served as an ambassador to Brazil, Japan, and Britain. He joined the BJP in 2013 after retiring as a bureaucrat. He is currently the Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas. 

logo
NewsCrunch
news-crunch.com