FOREST Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on Thursday filed a criminal defamation complaint against Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam in a Chandrapur court for the latter’s alleged remark against the minister last month in the wake of the shooting of tigress T1 in Yavatmal.
“Nirupam had held a press conference on November 10, where he made several allegations against the finance minister regarding the shooting of T1 in the Pandarkawda area of Yavatmal district. He stated in the conference that the minister is a part of the illegal international syndicates involved in wildlife trade. He further stated that the minister has a dubious record of saving the forest, and that under his regime, there has been a lot of destruction in the forests of Maharashta,” Mungantiwar’s lawyer Kartik Shukul said.
“In the press conference, Nirupam was accompanied by actress Rupali Ganguly, who also made several allegations against the department. However, Mungantiwar has not arrayed her as an accused,” Shukul said.
On Thursday, Mungantiwar entered the witness box and verified the contents of the complaint. He made a brief narration of the conference and specifically referred to the allegations pertaining to the syndicate.
The JMFC, after hearing the parties, has closed it for orders and listed it for tomorrow.
“If process is issued in the complaint, Nirupam would have to appear before the court and seek bail,” Shukul said.
The minister has invoked Section 499 of Criminal Procedure Code for the alleged offence.