A Delhi court today reserved for November 2 its order on whether to summon Congress leader Digvijay Singh in a criminal defamation case filed against him by BJP President Nitin Gadkari.
Gadkari has filed the criminal defamation case against Singh,who had accused him of having business links with his party MP Ajay Sancheti who allegedly pocketed Rs 500 crore in the coal block allocation.
Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Sudesh Kumar reserved its order on whether to summon Singh as accused in the case after recording the statements of two complainant’s witnesses.
The court had earlier recorded Gadkari’s statement. It recorded today the statement of BJP National Secretary Bhupinder Yadav,also a Rajya Sabha MP.
Yadav told the court that on September 3,he had read news articles in various newspapers about the alleged business relations between Gadkari and Sancheti and said it was “totally false” that Gadkari had earned Rs 490 crore from coal allocation through Sancheti. “This statement was made by Digvijay Singh before the TV channels and media persons which was widely circulated,” he said.
Yadav also told the court that the news was “defamatory” and it had lowered Gadkari’s image in the eyes of the public.
“The defamatory news was aired continuously for two days. After watching this news,the image and reputation of Nitin Gadkari was lowered in the eyes of myself and general public.
“So many persons in general public talk about this. Some persons personally approached me and asked whether my party would take any action against Digvijay Singh,” he said.
In his statement,Yadav told the court that he contacted Nitin Gadkari and apprised him of his views that this false news was widely circulated in various news channels and publications.
At this Gadkari told him that he would take action soon for this false and defamatory statements of Digvijay Singh.
During the day’s proceedings,the court also recorded the statement of an authorised representative of an English national daily in which the alleged defamatory statement of Singh was published.
Gadkari’s counsel had earlier denied that he has any “direct or indirect” business relations with Sancheti and that Singh’s statement had the “clear intention to malign the reputation of the complainant.”
The counsel had told the court that they had sent a legal notice to Singh on September 14 but the he had not replied.
Denying any business ties with Sancheti,55-year-old Gadkari had told the court that Singh had levelled “totally false and defamatory” allegations against him to “give the impression that I have been responsible for allocation of coal mines” to Sancheti.
In his petition,filed through advocate Ajay Digpaul,Gadkari sought Singh’s prosecution under sections section 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code.
In his complaint,Gadkari had said the Congress-led UPA government is facing a lot of heat on account of its irregularities,pointed out by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG),in coal blocks allocation and Singh made baseless allegations against him to divert attention.
Gadkari said his family members,friends and well wishers were “shocked” to see such news items against him.