Digvijay appears in court on Gadkari defamation suit

BJP leader Nitin Gadkari had filed a defamation case against Digvijay Singh in 2012, alleging that he has business links with BJP parliamentarian Ajay Sancheti

New Delhi: Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Saturday appeared before a Delhi court after it issued a bailable warrant against him in connection with a defamation case filed by Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.

Digvijay Singh

Earlier in the day, Digvijay Singh did not appear before the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha and sought exemption for the day, which was opposed by Gadkari’s counsel.

Taking a dim view of the Congress leader’s absence even as his lawyer moved an application seeking exemption from personal appearance, the court issued the warrant against Digvijay Singh and also sought Gadkari’s personal appearance in court on the next date of hearing, November 10.

The Congress leader appeared before the court later in the day and requested it to withdraw the warrant while assuring his presence on the next date of hearing.

The magistrate then recalled her order and cancelled the warrant.

The court not only directed Digivijay Singh to be present on November 10, but also warned Gadkari of dismissing his plea if he failed to appear before the court on that date.

In October 1, 2012, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Gadkari had filed a defamation case against Singh, who had accused him of having business links with BJP parliamentarian Ajay Sancheti who allegedly pocketed a huge sum in the allocation of coal blocks, which the Supreme Court later cancelled.

It was also alleged in the complaint that Singh had accused Gadkari of pocketing R490 crore in the allocation to Sancheti.

In his petition, Gadkari sought Singh’s prosecution under Sections 499 (defamation) and 500 (punishment for defamation) of the Indian Penal Code.

Gadkari, in his statement recorded in 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.

Gadkari also alleged that Singh levelled defamatory allegations against him to lower his dignity and malign and tarnish his image.

On November 17, 2012, the court issued summons to Singh after finding prima facie evidence against him.
On December 21, 2012, he was granted bail by the court after he appeared before it in pursuance of the summons issued against him.

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