New Delhi: A Delhi court on Wednesday said it would hear next month the arguments on whether to summon sacked minister Kapil Mishra and a BJP MLA for allegedly defaming Delhi Health Minister Satyender Jain by levelling graft charges against him.
The matter was listed for the hearing on 11 September as Metropolitan Magistrate Shefali Barnala Tandon was busy in plea bargaining cases. The court was hearing two criminal complaints filed by Jain alleging that he was defamed by Mishra and BJP MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa.
The complainant had also recorded his pre-summoning evidence in support of his pleas. After hearing arguments of the counsel for Jain, the court would decide whether to summon Mishra and Sirsa as accused in the matter. Jain, through advocate Gautam Dhamija, had claimed that Mishra had allegedly made defamatory statements against him in the media.
He had deposed that Mishra had also used his official Twitter handle to defame him and instead of going to any probe agency, he had levelled the allegations. He had also submitted that Sirsa had alleged that the minister was circulating huge amounts of illegitimate money within the party. Jain has also accused a media house of publishing the alleged “libellous and slanderous statements" made by Sirsa.
The court had earlier taken cognisance of the complaints filed against Mishra and Sirsa. The complaints by Jain were filed on 19 May. If convicted, the offence of defamation entails a maximum punishment of two years.
Jain in his plea against Mishra, who was earlier heading the water department, has submitted that on 7 May he had made a statement accusing him of giving a bribe to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on 5 May. He had also accused Sirsa of making libellous statements by levelling corruption allegation against him. He said these had caused irreparable damage to his reputation.