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SC upholds defamation law challenged by Rahul Gandhi, Subramanian Swamy, Arvind Kejriwal

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 13 May 2016, 12:30 IST

The Supreme Court on 13 May upheld the constitutional validity of criminal defamation laws.

A number of petitions had challenged the laws - including ones filed by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, BJP leader Subramanium Swamy and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The apex court dismissed the batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code providing for criminal defamation. It has allowed the political leaders to move the High Court to quash FIRs.

"Mutual respect to each other is required to maintain the constitutional value that ensure the dignity of any individual", says the SC.

The petitioners had argued that the criminal defamation under these sections of the IPC travelled beyond constitution's article 19(2) that imposes reasonable restriction on the freedom of speech and expression.

The verdict was reserved on 13 August 2015 after a bench comprising Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Prafulla C Pant heard the matter spread over a month.

Swamy and Gandhi have been charged with criminal defamation under Sections 499 and 500 of the IPC for their political speeches made in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra respectively, while Kejriwal is facing cases under the same provisions lodged by BJP's Nitin Gadkari and others.

--With ANI inputs

First published: 13 May 2016, 12:30 IST
 
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