New Delhi | The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the proceedings before an Ahmedabad court in a criminal defamation case filed against Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav for his alleged remarks that "only Gujaratis can be thugs".
A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal also issued notice to the complainant and sought his response on a transfer plea moved by Yadav seeking transfer of the trial from Gujarat to a 'neutral place'.
Last week, Yadav's counsel had informed a trial court in Ahmedabad that he has moved the Supreme Court seeking transfer of the criminal defamation case.
The criminal defamation complaint was filed against the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader by Hareshbhai Mehta, the vice president of an organisation called the All India Anti-Corruption and Crime Preventive Council.
The complaint was filed before a magistrate court in Ahmedabad, Gujarat after he allegedly said that "only Gujaratis can be thugs".
"Only Gujaratis can be thugs in the present situation, and their fraud (crime) will be forgiven. Who will be responsible if they abscond after they are offered the money belonging to the LIC and bank?" Tejashwi Yadav said in March this year.
In the defamation case, Mehta had said that the statement was made in public and calling the entire Gujarati community thugs defames and humiliates all Gujaratis in public.