Lucknow Super Giants Mentor and BJP Member of Parliament (MP) Gautam Gambhir has filed a defamation case in the Delhi High Court seeking damages of ₹2 crores against Hindi newspaper Punjab Kesari.
Gambhir has sued the newspaper, its editor Aditya Chopra, and reporters, Amit Kumar and Imran Khan, saying they have abused their journalistic freedom by publishing several malicious and defamatory articles systematically targeting him.
Gambhir filed through advocate Jai Anant Dehdarai. Gambhir cited several reports to claim that the paper gave a misleading spin to its stories. A report comparing him to the mythological demon Bhasmasur was also opposed.
Some of the reports mentioned in the suit are:
- “Sansad Gautam Gambhir Lapata Gali-Gali Me Lage Poster” (MP Gautam Gambhir goes missing, posters come up in streets);
- “Dilli ke lapata Sansad Lucknow Super Giants ke liye bane Bhasmasur” (Delhi’s missing MP becomes Bhasmasur for Lucknow Super Giants);
- “Adesh Gupta bolte reh gaye, Gautam Gambhir uth chale” (Adesh Gupta kept talking, Gautam Gambhir left);
- “Ye Naye Mijaz ke Sansad hai Jara Faaslo se Mila Karo” (This is the MP of a new frame of mind, please keep your distance while meeting him).
Gambhir argued that these reports create a false and deeply defamatory narrative about his work and living as an MP in readers’ minds. The report portrayed him as a castes figure and a high-nosed politician; it was pointed out.
“It is the respectful case of the Plaintiff that the pattern of these defamatory publications is indicative of a willful campaign launched by the Defendants to lower the reputation and standing of the Plaintiff in the eyes of his constituents, supporters, and the public at large The Defendants undertook no effort to confirm or corroborate the veracity of their publication – which further points out their collective malaise against the Plaintiff,” the advocated stated to the court.
The matter is listed for hearing before Justice Chandradhari Singh. Justice Chandra Dhari Singh, who heard the former cricketer’s lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai flag some of the articles, said: “If the reporter has gone to the area and found such comments being made, then… You are a public servant, an elected person, and you need not be so sensitive…..Any public person should be thick-skinned. With this social media and all, even judges have to be thick-skinned,” Justice Singh said to the advocate in the response.
Justice Singh remarked that some of the words used for Gambhir were inappropriate and warned the paper. “Does this person live in your constituency? If he is a voter for you, then he can say things like that. This is on the lighter side… If you read all the articles, it is my prima facie opinion that the reporter is behind this person. Some of the words and sentences that he has used are not proper for your paper, “ the judge said.
Gambhir has demanded compensation of Rs 2 crore from charitable organizations. He also prayed that the defendants should tender an unconditional apology, which should be published in all the newspapers (including digital editions) circulated by Punjab Kesari. He also submitted that directions should be issued to the paper to withdraw each defamatory publication against him.