New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday refused to stay the trial court proceedings against city BJP president Vijender Gupta in a criminal defamation case lodged against him by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit for allegedly using "uncivilised language" prior to MCD polls here.
"I cannot stay the (trial court) proceedings," Justice P K Bhasin said and asked the magisterial court to deal with the issue of physical presence of the chief minister and Gupta before it in "accordance with the law".
"Please stay the proceedings in the trial court till August 31, the next date of hearing as we have challenged the summoning order of the lower court," pleaded senior advocate Sanjay Jain, appearing for the Delhi BJP chief.
"The metropolitan magistrate is completely appearing to be overwhelmed by the stature of complainant Sheila Dikshit, who happens to be the chief minister," the lawyer said, adding that the absence of Dikshit before the lower court has not been dealt with as per the law.
During the hearing, Justice Bhasin asked the counsel for the chief minister if she would be appearing in the court on the next date of hearing.
"She would definitely be appearing... However, the issue of her appearance would depend on her prior and emergent commitments on that day," he said.
The counsel for the BJP leader then said his client was being harassed for being a political rival of the complainant as she herself does not appear in the court and, moreover, no case was made out against Gupta.
Gupta had moved the high court earlier seeking quashing of summons issued against him on Dikshit`s allegation that he had used "uncivilised language" to defame her before the MCD polls held on April 15.