A court here on Tuesday took cognisance of a criminal defamation complaint filed by BJP MP Smriti Irani against Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam for allegedly using derogatory and indecent language against her during a debate on a private news TV channel.

“The case is listed for order on taking cognizance of the offences alleged in the complaint. In view of the law laid down... the cognisance of the offence under section 499 (defamation) and 503 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC is taken,” Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja said.

Taking cognizance of BJP’s Rajya Sabha member Irani, the court asked her to have her statement recorded in connection with the allegations levelled against Nirupam. Ms. Irani, who was present in the court, recorded her statement during which the magistrate asked media persons present there to vacate the courtroom. “A prima facie opinion regarding summoning of respondent (Nirupam) qua the said sections shall only be made after examination-on-oath of the complainant,” the court said.

The recording of Ms. Irani’s statement in the court went on for about 45 minutes in which she reportedly gave details of the alleged derogatory remarks made by Mr. Nirupam against her.

The court recorded Ms. Irani’s statement and slated the matter for February 7 to record the statements of other complainant witnesses. Mr. Nirupam had allegedly made the controversial remarks on December 20, 2012 during a debate on Gujarat Assembly election results on a news channel.

Mr. Nirupam had also allegedly questioned the credentials of the BJP Mahila Morcha chief Ms. Irani to analyse poll results given her background as a TV actress.

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