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Tushar Gandhi files defamation suit against Sambhaji Bhide

Legally SpeakingTushar Gandhi files defamation suit against Sambhaji Bhide

Tushar Gandhi, an author and the great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi initiated a private criminal suit against founder of the Shri Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan organisation Sambhaji Bhide in a Pune court due to the latter’s “defamatory” statements against the Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhi further indicated that he, through his legal representative, has also lodged a complaint in the district and sessions court located in Shivaji Nagar. This complaint is directed against the Pune police, alleging their failure to take action on his previously submitted application to the Deccan Gymkhana police station last month, where he had sought action against Bhide.

Expressing his disappointment with the police’s response, Gandhi remarked that they appear to be neglecting their responsibilities and succumbing to political pressures. When Gandhi initially submitted the complaint application against Bhide, the police informed him that they would seek legal counsel before proceeding with the matter. However, they have since delayed taking any concrete action or providing substantial reasons for not initiating a case against Bhide.

Due to the inaction on their application, Gandhi and his legal team were compelled to approach the court and file a defamation complaint against Bhide. In his earlier complaint, Gandhi had requested the registration of a case against Bhide under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 499 (defamation), and 505 (statements conducting public mischief). He had emphasised that Bhide’s derogatory remarks extended not only to Mahatma Gandhi but also to his family.

Bhide faces accusations of making offensive comments about Mahatma Gandhi’s lineage during a public event in Amravati district, eastern Maharashtra, in late July. Subsequently, First Information Reports (FIRs) were filed against Bhide in Amravati and Nashik. Bhide is the founder of the Shri Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan organisation.

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