On Friday, Himanta Biswa Sarma, the chief minister of Assam, asserted that Congressman Pawan Khera had “tendered an unqualified apology” for his allegedly offensive comments on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Sarma continued, “Assam Police will pursue the case to its logical conclusion.”
“The supremacy of law shall never be challenged. The accused has offered a sincere apology (Para. 7). We sincerely hope that going forward, no one will engage in political dialogue while using foul language. Sarma shared a copy of the writ petition Khera filed in the Supreme Court on Twitter, stating that “@assampolice will pursue the matter to its logical conclusion.”
The majesty of law shall always prevail. The accused has tendered an unconditional apology (Para 7)
We hope that keeping the sanctity of public spaces, no one will use uncivilized language in political discourse hereafter. @assampolice will follow the matter to its logical end. pic.twitter.com/kaAnuMS2W0
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) February 24, 2023
The Assam Police detained Khera on Thursday in connection with a FIR over alleged statements made against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His deplaning from a flight to Raipur and the subsequent protests by his party officials on the tarmac started the day’s high drama.
A Delhi court released Khera on temporary bail until February 28 later that evening on the Supreme Court’s instructions after he made headlines last week for allegedly forgetting the name of the prime minister’s father during a news conference.
In numerous FIRs filed against him in Assam, as well as in the Uttar Pradesh towns of Varanasi and Lucknow, he had petitioned the top court for redress.
We have shielded you (Khera), but there has to be some degree of conversation, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said to senior attorney A M Singhvi who was defending Khera after pronouncing the order granting interim bail. Chandrachud seemed upset by the remarks made by the Congress leader.
In a news conference, he (Khera) made statements. He has stated things that, although I am unable to say so in court, I personally would not have said, Singhvi, who is also Khera’s party colleague, said in front of the supreme court.
Jairam Ramesh, the general secretary of the Congress, hailed the Supreme Court for helping Khera in Raipur.
He stated that the Supreme Court’s decision to award temporary bail demonstrated that, “despite all of the Modi government’s efforts, the judiciary still remains a light for our democracy. “Tiger is still alive, Supreme Court is still alive,” the saying goes in Hindi.
Khera had made “derogatory statements” against a democratically elected prime minister, the Assam Police testified in court.
His attorney contended that because he had expressed regret for his comments towards the prime minister, no detention was necessary.
At the Haflong police station in Assam, a case against Khera was filed under several IPC sections, including 153 B (imputations, claims harmful to national interest), 500 (penalty for defamation), and 504 (punishment for slander) (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace).
In his criticism of the government over the dispute surrounding the Gautam Adani-led business empire, Khera had referred to the prime minister as “Narendra Gautamdas Modi.”
The middle name Damodardas, which is typical in many parts of the nation, stands in for his father’s name in Modi’s complete name, Narendra Damodardas Modi.
The BJP harshly condemned the apparent error and accused Khera of making fun of the prime minister and his late father.
(With inputs from agencies)