New Delhi |The Delhi High Court on Wednesday listed for hearing on August 7 a public interest litigation seeking a direction to the CBI to investigate and prosecute Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and city Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for making "false statements" against the Centre regarding loan waiver to several industrialists.
A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad granted time to petitioner Surjit Singh Yadav to file certain documents in relation to his plea.
The counsel for petitioner seeks time to file additional documents. List on August 7, said the court.
The lawyer for the petitioner said "write off" was not same as "waive off" and in the present instance, it was wrongly publicised in the media that loans of several crores given to industrialists have been "waived off".
The petitioner, who claimed to be a farmer and a social worker, said in his plea that "write off" was a regular practice by banks to clean up their balance sheets with a "hope to recover it later" and the publication of "misleading statements" by the Gandhi and Kejriwal by certain news organisations was a "deliberate attempt to create a negative image" of the Centre, which has resulted in creating a negative image of the country.
"Petitioner had also come across, around five years ago, on a TV Channel a statement made by Sh. Rahul Gandhi (Respondent No.2) regarding waving off loan by the Central Government to the tune of Rs. 8 Lakh Crore of 5-10 industrialists. Respondent No.5 had also carried out news of Delhi Chief Minister Sh. Arvind Kejriwal (Respondent No.3) who had made a statement to the effect that loans of many industrialists were waived off by the Central Government and Lakhs of Crores of taxes of industrialists have also been waived off by the Central Government," the petition stated.
It also said that there were news articles "published more than two years ago that loans of 50 loan defaulters have been waived off and that the loan amount was to the tune of Rs. 68,000 Crore, which included the name of Mehul Choksi".
The plea stated that there was an attempt by the political leaders and media to convey a wrong impression about the image of the central government by twisting the facts to suit their agendas and the "fabricated news items" have damaged the image of the country in the eyes of the world.
The petition asserted that "factually wrong statements" by political personalities cast a negative impression in the minds of citizens, praying that such news articles should be removed.
"It is, therefore, most respectfully prayed that this Hon'ble Court may graciously be pleased to direct the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register a complaint and investigate and prosecute the Respondent No. 2 and 3 (Gandhi and Kejriwal) for making misleading and false statements which were made with the intent to damage the image and credibility of the Republic of India," the plea further stated.