New Delhi: A Delhi court on Monday said it would hear on January 9 next the arguments on the point of framing a notice in a defamation complaint filed by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari against Congress leader Digvijay Singh.
Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha was scheduled to hear the arguments today but the counsel appearing for Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, said that the senior advocate who was to argue in the matter was not available today.
During the hearing, Gadkari did not appear before the court and his counsel moved a plea seeking exemption from personal appearance for the day which was allowed by the court.
Singh was present in the court during the proceeding.
Earlier, Gadkari had ruled out any possibility of reaching a compromise with Singh, saying he would not withdraw his complaint unless the Congress leader takes back his statement of 2012 on his alleged business links with the then MP Ajay Sancheti.
"I have nothing to do with Sancheti. If he (Singh) knows anything about it and gives any proof, I am ready to give all my shares to him. Otherwise, he should take his statement back.
"My reputation is very high. Credibility is the biggest strength of a politician," Gadkari had told the court.
Meanwhile, Singh, who has been summoned as an accused in the case, had said "In my life I have never withdrawn my statement".
The criminal defamation complaint was filed by Gadkari in 2012 against Singh who had alleged that the former BJP chief had business links with Sancheti.
Singh was earlier granted bail in the case by the court which had, after finding "prima facie" evidence against him, directed him to appear before it as accused for the offence punishable under section 499 (defamation) and 500 (punishment for defamation) of IPC.
In the complaint, Gadkari had alleged Singh had accused him of pocketing sum to the tune of Rs 490 crore in the coal block allocation to Sancheti.
Gadkari had, in his statement recorded in the court, denied having any business ties with Sancheti and said Singh levelled "totally false and defamatory" allegations against him to "give the impression that I have been responsible for allocation of the coal mines" to Sancheti.
In his plea, Gadkari had alleged Singh had levelled defamatory allegations against him to lower his dignity and to malign and tarnish his image.