"Exemption application moved on behalf of accused. Submissions heard. In view of the submissions made and the grounds for the exemption as prayed in the exemption application, I deem it appropriate to allow the exemption application.
"Accused is exempted from personal appearance for today only. The exemption application stands disposed of accordingly. Matter is adjourned for hearing on the point of notice/ framing of notice...on December 12, 2019. Bailable warrants issued against the accused are stayed till the next date of hearing. Accused is directed to appear in person on the next date of hearing," the judge said.
Referring to the non-appearance of Tharoor and his counsel, the court had said that it was taking a "lenient view". It had issued bailable warrants against the accused with a sum of Rs 5,000 and notice to his surety for today.
The court had also imposed a fine of Rs 500 on the complainant, Delhi BJP leader Rajiv Babbar, who also did not appear before the court. However, Babbar was represented by a junior counsel.
The court was hearing a criminal complaint filed against Tharoor by Babbar, who had said his religious sentiments were hurt by the Congress leader's statement.
In October last year, Tharoor had claimed that an unnamed RSS leader had compared Prime Minister Modi to "a scorpion sitting on a Shivling". He termed it an "extraordinarily striking metaphor".
Tharoor was granted bail in the case in June on a personal bond of Rs 20,000 after he appeared before the court and moved an application.
The complaint was filed under sections 499 (defamation) and 500 (punishment for defamation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.