New Delhi: Spelling trouble for BJP leader Vijender Gupta, a court here on Monday ordered framing of charges against him in a criminal defamation complaint lodged against him by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
Metropolitan Magistrate Namrita Aggarwal said "prima facie" an offence of defamation is made out against Gupta and fixed the matter for July 27 for formally framing charges against him.
"Even the contention of counsel for accused (Gupta) that since the editor, publisher or the reporter of the referred newspapers have not been examined, no case is made out against the proposed offender is premature."
"The complainant has a liberty to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt at a stage subsequent to framing of notice in a summons triable case. In this case, prima facie offence under Section 500 (punishment for defamation) IPC is made out against the accused."
"To come up on July 27 for framing notices under section 500 IPC against the accused," the court said.
The magistrate also directed Gupta to personally appear in the court on the next date of hearing.
During the hearing, the court granted exemption from personal appearance to both Dikshit and Gupta for the day.
The court had on May 15 reserved its order on whether to frame charges against Gupta when Dikshit had also appeared before it.
Dikshit had appeared in the court on May 30 last year for recording her statement, after which Gupta was summoned as an accused in the case.
Dikshit had filed the criminal defamation case against Gupta alleging that the BJP leader used "uncivilised" language against her in the run up to the MCD polls last year.
Dikshit`s counsel had argued that the complainant would withdraw the complaint in case the accused, even at this stage, makes a statement in the court that the defamatory words published in the newspapers were not stated by him and that they were the creation of the correspondent or the publisher of the said newspapers.
The court said, "However, no reply in this regard had come from the side of the accused. There is no material to assume that the news report was not given by the accused or that it was the creation of some else."
Earlier, Dikshit`s counsel had said Gupta was claiming that the statement given by him against Dikshit at a public place was not made by him, which was "completely false".
He had also said there is evidence, which can be observed in newspaper clippings placed on record by them.
He had said the accused has moved the Delhi High Court to quash the proceedings against him in this case.
Gupta`s counsel Ajay Burman, however, had argued Dikshit had not produced any concrete evidence and the material is based on newspaper reports, which is "inadmissible".
He had also said the present case was filed against his client to harass him as he has been fighting for rights of citizens.