SC rejects plea to quash case against Cong leader Pawan Khera for Modi memark

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Delhi, Jan 04: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a plea seeking to quash criminal proceedings against Congress leader and spokesperson Pawan Khera over his alleged ‘Narendra Gautam Das Modi’ comment made in February last year. A bench comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and Sandeep Mehta declined to entertain the plea against the action initiated for the remark. The court was hearing a special leave petition challenging an Allahabad High Court order that refused to quash the criminal proceedings against Khera.

During a press conference on the Adani-Hindenburg affair in February 2023, Khera made a mistake with Modi’s name, referring to him as ‘Narendra Gautam Das… sorry Damodardas… Modi.’ His lawyers argued in the Supreme Court that it was a slip of the tongue, and he had promptly apologized. The remark resulted in multiple FIRs, and Khera was arrested by Assam police in the same month. The Supreme Court had granted temporary relief to Khera, directing his release on interim bail.

Pawan Khera faces charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including promoting communal enmity, imputations prejudicial to national integration, defamation, and insult with intent to provoke breach of peace. Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Khera, argued that the charges were a ‘complete stretch,’ emphasizing that the comment was made inadvertently, and an immediate apology was issued.

Despite approaching the Allahabad High Court to quash the summons order and chargesheet, Khera faced refusal. In October, he had issued an unconditional apology for the incident. The Supreme Court’s dismissal of the plea marks a continuation of the legal proceedings against Pawan Khera over the controversial remark.




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