FIR after paper runs anti-Kejriwal piece that Shanti Bhushan says he didn’t write

Bhushan threatened to sue <i>Mail Today</i> for the article that quoted him as criticising Kejriwal.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: December 14, 2013 3:02:11 pm

Former Union law minister and Aam Aadmi Party member Shanti Bhushan on Friday filed an FIR,alleging a conspiracy by “some big political persons” and Mail Today newspaper in publishing a “fabricated” article in his name.

In his complaint to police,the senior Supreme Court advocate,while denying having either written the article or having sent it to Mail Today or India Today Group,said someone had “purposely and mischievously” written it and “falsely attributed” it to him “in an attempt to defame Arvind Kejriwal,the Aam Aadmi Party and myself”.

The views in the article,he said,were completely contrary to his views and the newspaper had not verified with him whether he had written or sent the same before publishing it.

When contacted,Bhushan,while denying having written the article,told The Indian Express that his hunch was that some BJP leaders could be behind the publication of the article. “While the newspaper editor and other senior staff came to me to apologise and claimed they were not part of any conspiracy,it is nevertheless a monumental error. They said they would also file a police case in the matter. Let the police find out who was behind the criminal act,” he said.

Bhushan denied writing the article,headlined ‘Kejriwal is on course to ruin 2014 for the BJP’,which slammed AAP leader Kejriwal. According to the article,Bhushan blamed Kejriwal for the split in Team Anna,adding that Kejriwal has hidden his political ambitions under the garb of being part of an anti-corruption movement. It also said Kejriwal intentionally targeted the BJP to establish his secular credentials.

Referring to Kejriwal,the article says,“He intentionally and mischievously raised the bogey of Gadkari’s corruption and bracketed him with the Congress party’s known corrupt politicians to show his ‘secular’ credentials. The BJP’s name was sullied to please a particular community. Otherwise the BJP was nowhere near power so there was no question of them having been involved in corruption.”

It further says,“His (Kejriwal’s) priority is seemingly to destabilise the political system of the country — which is well established and need no replacement — by discrediting political parties,particularly the BJP and stop Modi from coming to power irrespective of the consequences for the nation. Because once Modi comes to power his shop would be wound up,and his dreams whatever he has and his lofty ideas would be shattered beyond repair.”

When contacted,Mail Today editor Sandeep Bamzai said he was looking into the matter. He later tweeted that he had apologised to Bhushan. “We have been had,our deepest apologies to Shanti Bhushan whose purported article has been carried on our edit page this morning,” Bamzai tweeted.

Another tweet by him said,“We have been duped by miscreants with a motive and sincerely apologise to Shanti Bhushan for carrying what was purportedly his article.” He further tweeted,“We are now filing an FIR and would take legal action against the miscreants,we are equally victims in this matter,apologies to Bhushan.”

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