Delhi BJP vice-president Rajeev Babbar on Saturday filed a criminal defamation complaint against Congress leader Shashi Tharoor for his alleged defamatory “scorpion” remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has also sought a compensation of Rs. 5 crore.

According to the complaint, Mr. Tharoor made this alleged scandalous remark at the Bangalore Literature Festival on October 28. Mr. Babbar said Mr. Tharoor’s statement was not only “an abuse of the Hindu deity but also defamatory and an insult to BJP workers, supporters and leaders”, adding that his religious sentiments were hurt.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal listed the matter for November 16.

‘Frivolous complaint’

Mr. Tharoor termed the complaint “frivolous”, and alleged that it was an attempt to “throttle the freedom of expression”. Speaking to presspersons in Kolkata, he said, “If we start to stifle the right of the people to quote published material, then where would our democracy head?”

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