Defamation charge framed against former BJP chief

Vijender Gupta pleads innocence,trial to begin on Oct 28

Written by D K RITURAJ | New Delhi | Published:August 7, 2013 12:08 am

A city court on Tuesday framed charges of defamation against BJP leader Vijender Gupta and directed Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to appear in court for recording her statement against Gupta.

The defamation suit had been filed by Dikshit on grounds that Vijender Gupta had used “uncivilised language” to defame her in the run-up to the municipal elections last year.

The complaint referred to alleged derogatory remarks made by Gupta in interviews to daily newspapers published and circulated in the city. According to Dikshit’s complaint,Gupta had defamed her to belittle her public image and gain political advantage. The court on July 1 had found a prima facie case of defamation against Gupta,overruling objections of his counsel that newspaper reports could not be admitted as primary evidence in the matter.

“I have not made any defamatory comments against the CM,” Gupta told Metropolitan Magistrate Namrita Agarwal,pleading that he was not guilty and asking for a trial.

The court scheduled the trial for October 28 and directed Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to appear in court on that date for recording her statement against Gupta. The court refused Dikshit’s application for exemption from personal appearance in the matter on grounds that the date of hearing was already in her knowledge and she had no reason to seek exemption.

Gupta dismissed the charges against him as a “political gimmick” and a “baseless case”.

“I had spoken in a straight-forward,civilised manner on the issue of corruption. There was no uncivilised language involved,” Gupta said.

He also said that he had given the interview in Hindi but the content was published in English,implying that the expression of his words had got aggravated in the translation.

“I am being humiliated. The case has gone on for a year,but the CM has appeared only once in the case and that too after much pressure,” Gupta said. He also complained to the court that he was being harassed by the court since the court easily granted exemption from personal appearance to the Chief Minister,while he had to submit minor details in order to get an exemption. The court reassured him that whenever required,the attendance of the parties in the matter would be compulsory and the court would not grant favour to anyone in the case.

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