FORMER SAD minister Bikram Singh Majithia Monday appeared in the court of judicial magistrate Jagjit Singh at Ludhiana for examination-in-chief in the defamation case filed by him against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) senior leader Sanjay Singh. Majithia, along with four other Akali Dal leaders —Manpreet Singh Ayali, Maheshinder Grewal, MLA Sharanjit Singh Dhillon and Youth Akali Dal leader Parminder Brar — were present in court for the hearing, which went on for over four hours.
AAP leader Sanjay Singh was absent from Monday’s hearing as his counsel Himmat Singh Shergill had sought an exemption on his behalf. Meanwhile, Majithia said that it was a “well-planned conspiracy of AAP against me”’ to “defame me as as a ‘drug lord’” for “cheap politics.” Majithia’s counsel Damanbir Singh Sobti submitted that “during Punjab elections this year, AAP found no other way to detach youths from SAD and since he (Majithia) was considered a role model by youths, they defamed him as a ‘drug lord’ for cheap politics.”
Meanwhile, the four other Akali leaders told the court that they “stand testimony to the fact that news stories in newspapers calling Majithia a drug supplier were largely circulated and several lakhs of people believed them to be true.” They further submitted that “even they developed a distrust for Majithia after reading those articles and confronted him to know the truth.” A visibly emotional Majithia said he “wants justice for his children and parents who too have been affected by the conspiracy to defame him.” “We want justice to live with dignity,” he said.
The court fixed the next hearing for January 24 when Majithia will be cross-examined by Sanjay Singh’s counsel. Himmat Singh Shergill, AAP counsel, said, “We will be cross-examining Majithia during the next hearing.” Asked about the reason for Sanjay Singh’s absence in court, he said, “He is busy with party-related work as the Gujarat polls are near.”
Majithia had filed defamation suit against Sanjay Singh in the Ludhiana court on January 12 under sections 499 and 500 of IPC. Later, speaking to The Indian Express, Majithia said, “The AAP leader is now running away from trial but he cannot do that for long.” Without naming Sukhpal Singh Khaira, Majithia said, “Their own party leader is now involved in a drug case and was summoned by the court. Why are they silent? These are double standards,” he said.
‘Probe my role a 100 times’ Asked about a fresh probe ordered against him in Bhola drug racket by High Court, Majithia said, “I have still not seen written copy of these orders but I have said this since day one, anyone is welcome to probe my role in the case anytime and I will fully cooperate. Probe my role a hundred times and I will cooperate.”