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APW Chief Files Defamation Suit Against Ex-CJI Ranjan Gogoi

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GUWAHATI, May 11 (PTI): A Rs one crore defamation case and a petition seeking an injunction to restrain his autobiography has been filed against Rajya Sabha MP and former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi by Assam Public Works (APW) president Aabhijeet Sharma at a local Court here.

Sharma filed the defamation case against Gogoi and Rupa Publications, the publisher of his autobiography ‘Justice for a Judge’, for alleged misleading and defamatory statements against him in the book.

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He also filed a petition seeking an ad-interim injunction restraining Gogoi and his publisher from further publishing, distributing or selling any book which has defamatory statements and imputations against him.

Sharma in his petition quoted Justice Gogoi as having written in his autobiography, “Personal attack on the State Coordinator NRC Prateek Hajela and veiled attacks on the judges, particularly me, by local politicians and specially by Abhijit Sharma, the president of Assam Public Works left us (the Bench) convinced that orders should be passed to protect Hajela from undue harassment and calculated harm”.

The defamation case and the petition for the injunction were filed at the Kamrup Metro district court here.

It was heard on Tuesday and the court in its ruling on Wednesday said that after going through the petition and documents it is found that there is ‘substantial question both of law and facts to be adjudicated’.

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The Court directed issuing of summons to both the petitioner and the defendants and posted the next date of hearing for June 3.

In the injunction case, the judge ruled that it was found that the matter was not emergent in nature to grant any ex-parte order without hearing the opposite parties.

The court directed issuing of summons to the parties involved and fixed the next date of hearing also on June 3.

APW was the first organisation to petition the Supreme Court to strike out the names of “illegal migrants” from the voters’ list in Assam, which led to the updation of the National Register of Citizens in the northeastern state.

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Sharma alleged that imputations against him in the book are ‘inherently false and malicious” and have been made with “clear intention to defame” him.

There is not an “iota of proof against the applicant to substantiate the inherently false, baseless and malafide allegations” made against him in the book, he claimed in his petition.

Sharma in his petition said that he enjoyed an ‘unblemished reputation” but the “false, baseless and defamatory allegations” by Gogoi in his autobiography “maligned and irreparably tarnished” his image in the eyes of the general public, friends and family, causing him deep mental agony and anguish.

Gogoi had served as the 46th chief justice of India from 2018 to 2019.



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