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Rajeev Chandrasekhar Sends Legal Notice To Shashi Tharoor Over 'False Allegations' Of Bribing Voters

12:39 PM Apr 10, 2024 IST | 8PM News Desk
rajeev chandrasekhar sends legal notice to shashi tharoor over  false allegations  of bribing voters
Rajeev Chandrasekhar Sends Legal Notice To Shashi Tharoor Over 'False Allegations' Of Bribing Voters

New Delhi [India]: BJP candidate for Thiruvananthapuram, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, has slapped a legal notice to his Congress counterpart, Shashi Tharoor, for defamation.

In his notice, Rajeev Chandrasekhar accuses Tharoor of disseminating patently false information among the constituents of Thiruvananthapuram, purportedly spreading misleading information regarding bribing key voters and influential figures such as Parish priests, among others.

Chandrasekhar has expressed 'shock' at the allegations made by Shashi Tharoor in a TV interview by a Kerala-based news organization called '24 News'.

The BJP leader has also demanded the retraction of what he deems as reckless statements made by Shashi Tharoor and further demanded that he issue a public apology, or else face legal ramifications for the same.

The notice read, "Immediately withdraw all the allegations and aspersions made by you the Noticee against Our Client, i.e. Rajeev Chandrashekhar on the aforesaid news channel dated 06.04.2024; Tender an unconditional public apology to Our Client to his satisfaction through print and electronic media about the said baseless allegations and aspersions made by you the Noticee; and Immediately cease, refrain and desist from defaming, harassing, hampering the reputation of Our Client and spreading any uncalled for rumour and stop indulging in any such activities in the future."

The legal notice also states that Tharoor has made these statements "with an intent to harm" Rajeev Chandrasekhar. It emphasizes how such defamatory statements have harmed and disrespected the entire Christian community of Thiruvananthapuram and its leaders by accusing them of engaging in cash-for-votes activities, further highlighting the need for a public apology within 24 hours.

"Shocked and surprised to watch the news video dated 06.04.2024 on a Malayalam news channel named 24 News, wherein you, the Noticee (Shashi Tharoor), made defamatory statements alleging that Our Client (Rajeev Chandrasekhar) had indulged in illegal activities of offering money to voters and that Our Client is spreading lies in Christian communities. Not only are the said statements totally and completely false but it is clear that the same was made with the clear mala fide intent to tarnish the reputation of Our Client to try and gain an unfair advantage in the upcoming elections," the legal notice further said.

This legal notice comes shortly after Tharoor violated Rule I(2) of the Model Code of Conduct, which strictly states that political candidates must confine their criticisms to "their policies and programme, past record and work" and refrain from making criticisms of other parties or their workers based on "unverified allegations or distortion".

In this case, Tharoor's statements made to '24 News' on how Rajeev Chandrasekhar offered money to key voters in the constituency, including religious and community leaders such as parish priests, without disclosing their names publicly, have not been verified.

Tharoor was also accused of "violating sub-section 3 of section 123 of the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951, by appealing to the religious identity of the voters, and his actions constitute a corrupt practice under the RP Act as held by the decision of the 7-judge bench of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in Abhiram Singh v. CD Commachen (Civil Appeal No.37/1992)."

The legal notice further stated, "It is apprehended that you (Shashi Tharoor) have concocted these allegations and circulated them to influence the voters in Thiruvananthapuram. It is feared that you have engaged in spreading such false news to subvert the process of free and fair elections.

It is feared that your statements are now being circulated by your agents, supporters, and party members through various platforms including social media and messaging apps to spread the false allegations against Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the notice added.

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