Hearing the defamation case filed by Punjab minister Bikram Singh Majithia, Amritsar court has served notice to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Aam Adami Party leaders Sanjay Singh and Ashish Khetan under section 500/ 501 on Friday. The trio was not present in court. The notice was accepted by their advocate Gaurav Gurcharan Singh Rai. Next hearing of the case will be on January 4.
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Passing the order on Friday, Ravi Inder Kaur, Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Amritsar, said, “The court has already heard the submissions of both the counsels for the parties on the point of serving of notice of accusation to all of the accused under Section 251 CrPC. The counsel for the accused laid much stress on the point that no case is made out against the accused under Section 499/500 IPC as the case comes under the ambit of first, fourth and fifth exception of Section 499 IPC which relates to defamation. Another point which was raised by counsel for accused is that the accused are high credential/high profile personalities but on the other hand, newspaper published a news item that Majithia ‘collected money’ from three NRIs. The statement by businessman Jagjit Chahal and SAD Ex-Treasurer Maninder Aulakh before the Enforcement Directorate clearly indicate that Majithia ‘patronised’ the Canadian NRIs.”
“The counsel for accused also placed on record one news item wherein Assistant Director Niranjan Singh of Enforcement Directorate alleges Majithia hand in his transfer,” the order noticed.
It further reads, “Defence counsel prayed for discharging the accused for which they have been summoned to face the trial. After hearing the rival contentions of learned counsel for both the parties and going through the file with their able assistance, this court is of the considered opinion that the accused were summoned in the present case under section 499/500 IPC after considering the prima facie evidence on record. At this stage, the contention of defense counsel that no case is made out against the accused under the first, fourth and fifth exception of Section 499 IPC, is liable to be discarded.”
“It is a matter of evidence if the imputation made by the accused was based upon truth or was for public good. Moreover, the learned defense counsel during the course of submissions made by him never denied the contents of the complaint where there are allegations of imputation made by the accused persons which were widely publicized in the press. It was also not disputed during the course of submissions that the defamatory statements given by the accused were uploaded on social media regarding the image and character of the complainant,” reads the order.