The Delhi High Court has sought the stand of BJP MP Maneka Gandhi on a defamation lawsuit by the Indian Veterinary Association. Justice Amit Bansal issued summons to the animal rights activist and granted her 30 days to file her written statement to the plea which seeks Rs two crore one hundred as damages as well as an unqualified apology for her. The plea also prays for an order of permanent injunction to restrain her from making any defamatory comments and statements against veterinary doctors.
”Accordingly, let the plaint be registered as a suit. Issue summons in the suit to the defendant (Gandhi) through all modes. The written statement shall be filed within thirty days from the receipt of summons,” said the court in its order dated May 10.
The plaintiff Indian Veterinary Association, which claims to be the apex organisation of veterinarians in the country and were represented by senior advocate Sunil Mittal, said that it filed the lawsuit against the defendant BJP leader for ”harassment, injury, making illegal demands of money and making grossly defamatory comments and statements against the members”. The plea, filed through lawyer Namita Roy, alleged that ”in the garb of commenting on the improvements needed in veterinary medicine in India”, the defendant made ”libelous, slanderous and highly derogatory statements/remarks” against the veterinarians in a publication and intentionally defamed them. It also alleged that several phone calls, where the defendant used offensive language, were also received by veterinarians. ”The defendant is intentionally misusing her clout as former Union Minister and she has abused, used filthy languages, humiliated and deliberately defamed, imputed and ridiculed the Veterinary doctors and is harassing the veterinary doctors in her personal capacity, which is unbecoming,” the plea said. ”These defamatory imputation, comments and statements are false and have no iota of truth and have been made knowingly with malicious intentions toto malign, injure, defame the Plaintiff veterinary doctors and tarnish their image,” it added.
The matter would be heard next on August 4.