HC to hear BJP leader`s plea against case lodged by CM

HC will hear the plea of Vijender Gupta seeking to quash the lower court summons to him on Delhi CM`s defamation complaint against him.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court will hear on Monday the plea of city BJP president Vijender Gupta seeking to quash the lower court summons to him on Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit`s defamation complaint against him.

Justice P K Bhasin, who had earlier issued the notice to Dikshit seeking her response to Gupta`s plea, would hear the matter tomorrow forenoon.

The Delhi BJP chief had moved the petition against the magisterial court`s summons to him, contending that Dikshit`s complaint, which set the judicial process in motion, was based on "hearsay" allegations against him.

During last hearing on July 10, Justice Bhasin had refused to stay the trial court`s summons against Gupta, but had allowed him to move the magisterial court for exemption from personal appearance.

The magistrate had issued fresh summons to Gupta on June 22 after he failed to appear following an earlier order passed on June 4.

The summons were issued against Gupta on Dikshit`s allegation that he had used "uncivilised language" to defame her before the MCD polls held on April 15.

Gupta, in his petition, has said, "the allegations made in the complaint and evidence led in support of the complaint did not make out a case of summoning the petitioner (Gupta) as the entire material produced or statement made in support of the complaint was based on hearsay evidence.

"The magistrate committed grave error under law by acting on newspaper reports which are only basis of complaint and complainant evidence in support of the complaint...".

The BJP leader alleged, "The magistrate had acted in
haste and passed the impugned order of summoning arbitrarily and mechanically and as such the impugned order is liable to be quashed or set aside."

On the contrary, Dikshit, in her complaint, had said the BJP leader had used "uncivilised" language against her before the MCD polls to gain political mileage and for maligning her.

Besides the criminal case, Dikshit had also filed a civil suit in the high court demanding a token damage of Rs one from Gupta for defaming her by erecting hoardings across the city, accusing her government of conniving with private discoms and indulging in corruption in determining power tariff.

Gupta, however, had contended in the high court that "fair" criticism is part and parcel of a healthy democracy.
The chief minister had said that she had sent legal notices to Gupta after the civic polls but the BJP leader did not apologise and rather stood by his remarks.


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