A court here Saturday summoned Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on June 7 on a complaint over his remarks that an unnamed RSS leader had compared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to "a scorpion sitting on a Shivling".
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal was hearing a criminal defamation complaint filed against Tharoor by Delhi BJP leader Rajeev Babbar, who has said his religious sentiments were hurt by the Congress leader's statement.
Tharoor had claimed in October last year that an unnamed RSS leader had compared Prime Minister Modi to "a scorpion sitting on a Shivlinga". He had termed it as an extraordinarily striking metaphor.
The complaint says, "I am a devotee of Lord Shiva.... However, the accused (Tharoor) completely disregarded the sentiments of crores of Shiva devotees, (and) made the statement which hurt the sentiments of all Lord Shiva devotees, both in India and outside the country."
"The complainant's religious sentiments were hurt and the accused deliberately did this malicious act, intending to outrage the religious feelings of Lord Shiva devotees by insulting their religious belief," it adds.
The complaint also describes Tharoor's statement as an "intolerable abuse" and "absolute vilification" of the faith of millions of people.
The complaint was filed under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), relating to defamation.
As Tharoor's comments at the Bangalore Literature Festival last year drew condemnation, the MP tweeted saying the remarks were not made by him and were in the public domain for six years.
In his speech at the festival, Tharoor had said "...There is an extraordinarily striking metaphor expressed by an unnamed RSS source to a journalist which I quote, in which they express their frustration with their inability to curb Mr Modi.
"The man says Modi is like a scorpion sitting on a Shivaling. You cannot remove him with a hand and you cannot hit it with a chappal either," he had said.
Also Read | 2014 contest was tougher, says Shashi Tharoor
Watch | Votes cannot be won with the blood of our security personnel: Shashi Tharoor