A court in Valsad district, on Tuesday, accepted the discharge application of independent MLA from Vadgam, Jignesh Mevani, in connection with a defamation case filed against him in 2019. The court noted that the prosecution had failed to produce the accused’s mobile phone, which was the prime evidence in the case.
Valsad Police had registered a case of defamation against Mevani under IPC sections 500 and 505 (2) on June 15, 2019, after he had uploaded a video on his Twitter account regarding a teacher beating students. He had attributed the incident to RMVM school in Valsad, sought action against its management and tagged the handle of the Prime Minister’s Office in his tweet. The defamation case against Mevani was lodged by the principal of RMVM school, Bijal Patel.
Later, Mevani had deleted the video from his account after learning that it was not shot at RMVM school. He had posted a clarification regarding the same. Subsequently, Mevani had been granted anticipatory bail by the Gujarat High Court and was directed to remain present before Valsad Police when summoned. During the investigation, police had demanded Mevani’s mobile phone, to which he had not agreed.
After hearing arguments from both the prosecution and the defence Tuesday, Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate in Valsad, Manish Nimavat, discharged Mevani from all charges. The judge stated that the prime evidence in the case – Mevani’s mobile phone which was used to tweet the video – was not seized by the police, along with the mobile phone of the complainant, and neither was produced before the court.
Ayaz Shaikh, the advocate representing Mevani, said, “The prosecution had failed in proving Mevani guilty… We are satisfied with the court’s order.”
Jignesh Mevani could not be reached for comments.