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SC to pronounce verdict on pleas challenging criminal defamation today

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court will today pronounce its verdict on a batch of petitions including by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy challenging the constitutional validity of Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) providing for criminal defamation.

The petitioners had argued that the criminal defamation under these sections of the IPC travelled beyond constitution’s article 19(2) that imposes reasonable restriction on the freedom of speech and expression.

The verdict was reserved on August 13 last year after bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Prafulla C. Pant heard the matter spread over a month.

Swamy and Gandhi have been charged with criminal defamation under Sections 499 and 500 of the IPC for their political speeches made in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra respectively, while Kejriwal is facing cases under the same provisions lodged by BJP’s Nitin Gadkari and others. (ANI)

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