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Delhi HC orders TMC's Saket Gokhale to pay Rs 50 lakh damages in defamation case

The Delhi High Court on Monday asked All India Trinamool Congress MP Saket Gokhale to pay Rs. 50 lakhs damages to former Indian Assistant Secretary-General to the United Nations, Lakshmi Puri, in her defamation suit against him.

Delhi HC orders TMC's Saket Gokhale to pay Rs 50 lakh damages in defamation case gcw
First Published Jul 1, 2024, 3:07 PM IST

The Delhi High Court on July 1 directed Trinamool Congress leader (TMC) and Rajya Sabha MP Saket Gokhale to pay Rs 50 lakh in damages in a defamation case filed by former diplomat Lakshmi Puri. Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani issued the order and instructed Gokhale to publish an apology. The court mandated compliance within eight weeks.

Gokhale in his tweets had referred to a property purchased by Puri in Switzerland and raised questions regarding her and her husband, Union Minister Hardeep Puri's assets. He had also tagged Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman in the tweets and sought an ED inquiry.

Lakshmi Puri, the spouse of Hardeep Singh Puri, the Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, filed a lawsuit against Gokhale, claiming that she had bought property in Switzerland that was out of proportion to her earnings.

Gokhale was ordered by the court to delete the allegedly defamatory tweets and to stop publishing any further anything that would be considered derogatory against the Puris in July 2021.

Puri said that Gokhale had made malicious, defamatory, and false statements in his tweets, claiming that during her time as a delegation from the Indian government to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), her income could only have been between Rs. 10 and 12 lakh.

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