Supreme Court adjourns hearing in Pawan Khera's plea seeking consolidation of FIRs filed over his statement against PM Modi

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ASG Bhati had argued against granting of interim relief to Khera while showing his facial expression while he made the alleged statement. "He is smiling," ASG Bhati had pointed out.

The Supreme Court today adjourned the hearing in the plea filed by Congress Leader Pawan Khera seeking consolidation of FIRs filed against him over his alleged statements at a Press Conference against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

When the matter was taken up, SG Tushar Mehta appeared before Court stating that he was present on behalf of the States of Uttar Pradesh and Assam.

Meanwhile, a request was made on behalf of Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi seeking an adjournment.

SG then said that the matter could be heard on Monday, to which the CJI led bench agreed. The bench also extended the interim protection granted to Khera

Recently, a counter affidavit was filed by the State of Uttar Pradesh stating that Khera was seeking indulgence of the Supreme Court to stall due investigations into deliberate utterances of defamatory words relating to one of the highest Constitutional functionaries of this Country.

"At the outset it is most humbly submitted that the relief which survives for consideration by this Hon'ble Court is limited to clubbing and consolidation of all FIRs, lodged pursuant to the deliberate attempt of the petitioner to denigrate a constitutional functionary, in one jurisdiction", the affidavit added.

Notably, an FIR was registered against Khera on the ground that he had hurt sentiments of people of the Country as he had deliberately ridiculed the late father of the Prime Minister of India.

The FIR adds that the name of the late father of the Prime Minister had deliberately been uttered as Gautam Das by Khera and he had further deliberately and sarcastically stated that though the name is 'Damodar Das' but his work is similar to that of 'Gautam Das'.

On February 27, the Supreme Court had extended the interim protection granted to Congress Leader Pawan Khera in FIRs filed against him over his alleged statements at a Press Conference against Prime Minister Narendra Modi till March 3, which came to be further extended till today.

On February 23, the Supreme Court had directed a Delhi Court to grant interim bail to Khera. A bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud had taken up the matter after Khera was arrested from the Delhi Airport in the morning.

The matter was first mentioned by Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi seeking consolidation of FIRs filed against Khera who was deboarded from the plane and arrested. Singhvi had said that he made some statements that he should not have made. 

Singhvi had argued that "It was an unfortunate statement by Pawan Khera. If one has crossed the boundaries, this cannot be the reaction. The very day he said that it was a mistake. He did a play of words."

Additionally, seeking interim protection, Singhvi had said: "He said it was a mistake, a slip of tongue. Your Lordships can protect him from coercive actions."

Whereas, ASG Aishwarya Bhati had said, "I'm here to inform you that he was arrested, he is being taken for medical and he'll be presented before Court." 

Case Title: Pawan Khera vs. State of Assam