The Delhi High Court on Friday, 29 July, issued summons to Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Pawan Khera, and Netta D'Souza in relation to the civil defamation suit filed by Union minister Smriti Irani, in which she accused the Opposition of making 'baseless allegations' against her daughter.
In an interim order, HC Justice Mini Pushkarna directed the three leaders to remove all tweets, retweets, posts, videos, and photos from social media pertaining to the allegations against the Union minister and her daughter.
Further, the court underlined that in case of non-compliance with the direction even after 24 hours, the social media platforms will be moved to take down the posts.
Responding to the court directive on Friday, Jairam Ramesh took to social media to say, "We look forward to presenting the facts before the court. We will challenge and disprove the spin being put out by Ms. Irani."
What is the Row?
This comes after Congress leaders pressed for Irani's sacking from the Narendra Modi Cabinet, alleging that her daughter runs an "illegal bar" – Silly Souls – in Goa's Assagao.
Moreover, Aires Rodrigues, the lawyer and RTI activist who found the alleged lapses in the bar's licence procurement, said that "the whole world knows" that the 'Silly Souls Café and Bar' is managed and run by the Union minister's family.
"There is enough evidence to this effect," he added.
Rodrigues had uncovered that the bar's owners renewed the establishment's liquor licence using the name of a deceased person.
Consequently, the Minister of Women and Child Development, who has categorically denied all charges, sought damages of over Rs 2 crore and an unconditional apology from the Congress leaders.
Chiming in on the controversy on Friday, advocate Prashant Bhushan wrote on his Twitter, "The “Silly Souls Café and Bar” at Assagao allegedly being run by Smriti Irani’s family was illegally built without obtaining any construction licence. This has been revealed to Adv. Aires Rodrigues today under the RTI Act by the Assagao Panchayat."
(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)