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Sanjay Raut pleads ‘not guilty’ in defamation case by Kirit Somaiya’s wife

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut in currently in the ED’s custody in a money laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in the redevelopment of a Mumbai ‘chawl’. File

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut in currently in the ED’s custody in a money laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in the redevelopment of a Mumbai ‘chawl’. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut pleaded "not guilty" on Thursday before a magistrate on a defamation case filed by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kirit Somaiya's wife.

Mr. Raut, currently lodged at Arthur Road Jail in a money laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in the redevelopment of a Mumbai chawl, was produced via video conferencing. Metropolitan magistrate P.I. Mokashi adjourned the matter to September 19.

On July 8, the Additional chief metropolitan magistrate issued a bailable warrant against Mr. Raut as he had failed to appear before the court. However, the court cancelled the warrant, when he appeared on July 14 and furnished a personal bond of ₹15,000.

The complaint against him is filed under sections 499 (defamation) and 500 (punishment for defamation) of the Indian Penal Code by professor Medha Somaiya who teaches in a college affiliated with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. She has also filed a civil suit of ₹100 crore and asked that Mr. Raut either be ordered to pay or deposit the amount in the chief minister's relief fund as damages.

She has refuted the allegations made by the member of parliament of the couple being involved in a scam of ₹100 crores by misusing the funds collected to build toilets in the Mira Bhayandar area through Mrs. Somaiya's non-governmental organisation.

Mrs. Somaiya has also filed a defamation suit against Mr. Raut before High Court, seeking an apology to her and a retraction of the allegations and accusations made in defamatory articles/materials published in Shiv Sena's mouthpiece newspaper, Saamna. Medha's plea said that on April 12, 2022, she came across a newspaper article in the daily newspaper published by Saamna accusing her of a "toilet scam". She says Mr. Raut has made these allegations without any evidence to malign her image.

The ED had arrested the Rajya Sabha member in a money laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in the redevelopment of a Mumbai chawl.


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Printable version | Aug 25, 2022 5:40:47 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sanjay-raut-appears-in-defamation-case-before-mumbai-court-via-video-conference/article65782479.ece