Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Thursday appeared before a Delhi court in connection with a defamation case filed against him over his "scorpion on Shivling" remark.
The statement of the Congress leader was, however, not recorded by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Samar Vishal. The court has adjourned the matter till August 7.
The court was hearing a criminal defamation case filed by BJP leader Rajeev Babbar.
In October 2018, Tharoor had stoked a controversy by invoking a news article where an unnamed RSS leader had compared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a scorpion sitting on a Shivling.
"There is an extraordinarily striking metaphor expressed by an unnamed RSS source to a journalist, who expressed their frustration to curb Modi -- 'Modi is like a scorpion sitting on a shivling. You can't remove him with your hand and you cannot hit it with a 'chappal' (slipper) either," he had said.
Tharoor added, "If you try to touch the scorpion, you will be stung, but if you hit a shivling with the chappal, it undermines all the sacred tenets of the faith. That may well be an interesting clue to the rather complex dynamics that exist between the Hindutva movement and the Moditva expression on it."
Babbar alleged that Tharoor's remarks hurt his religious sentiments.
"I am a devotee of Lord Shiva... However, the accused (Tharoor) completely disregarded the sentiments of crores of Shiva's devotees, made the statement which hurt the sentiments of all the Lord Shiva devotees, both in India and outside the country, the Complainant's religious sentiments were hurt and accused deliberately did this malicious act, intending to outrage religious feeling of Lord Shiva devotees by insulting their religious believes," Babbar stated in the complaint.
Advocate Neeraj, representing Babbar, in the statement, had said that the annotations were "intolerable abuse" and "absolute vilification" of the faith of millions of people.