State BJP president and sitting MP from Dharwad Lok Sabha constituency Prahlad Joshi has dragged NGO Samaj Parivartana Samudaya founder president S R Hiremath to the court of law by filing a criminal defamation case under IPC Section 200 against the latter at the district court in Dharwad on Wednesday.
The JMFC judge has admitted the case and has adjourned the hearing to May 31. In his petition, Joshi has charged that S R Hiremath had tried to malign his (Joshi’s) public image by levelling baseless allegations, thus causing him mental agony.
S R Hiremath has taken up fight against illegal mining and land dealings in the state and has been after politicians and officials allegedly involved in the scams. He had released a list of “corrupt candidates” just on the eve of polling for the General Elections 2014 and Joshi’s name had figured in the list.
Advocate Arun Joshi, representing Prahlad Joshi, had filed a private case at the district court on Wednesday appealing that the court take action against Hiremath and deliver justice to the petitioner.
BJP leaders Vijayanand Shetty, Mohan Ramdurg and newspaper cuttings have been made the witnesses to substantiate Joshi’s claims.
The petitioner has stated that Hiremath had conducted media conferences in twin cities several times and had levelled charges that Joshi was trying to grab the Hubli Sports Club grounds. “This was an attempt to tarnish my public image,” contended the petitioner.
Joshi has also drawn the attention of the court to the fact that he has been a two-time Member of Parliament from Dharwad Lok Sabha constituency and was in the fray again seeking a third term. He claimed that he had maintained a clean public image without getting into any corrupt or illegal activity.
Joshi told reporters outside the court that the allegations made by Hiremath were baseless. “Hiremath, so far, has been promising journalists that he would furnish documents to support his allegations. But, till now he has not given any proper documents. The remark made by Hiremath has hurt the sentiments and is sending a wrong image to the public. Hence, a criminal defamation case has been filed against Hiremath,” he added.