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Court Summons Four BJP Leaders Including Delhi Unit Chief Adesh Gupta In Criminal Defamation Case By Delhi Jal Board

Nupur Thapliyal
20 Nov 2021 11:30 AM GMT
Court Summons Four BJP Leaders Including Delhi Unit Chief Adesh Gupta In Criminal Defamation Case By Delhi Jal Board
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A Delhi Court has summoned four BJP leaders including its Delhi Unit President Adesh Gupta in a criminal defamation complaint filed by Delhi Jal Board and its Vice Chairman Raghav Chadha. The case pertains to allegations levelled against the Board over scam of Rs. 26,000 crores. Those summoned include Adesh Gupta; Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, an MLA from Badarpur constituency and leader of opposition...

A Delhi Court has summoned four BJP leaders including its Delhi Unit President Adesh Gupta in a criminal defamation complaint filed by Delhi Jal Board and its Vice Chairman Raghav Chadha. The case pertains to allegations levelled against the Board over scam of Rs. 26,000 crores.

Those summoned include Adesh Gupta; Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, an MLA from Badarpur constituency and leader of opposition in Delhi Legislative Assembly; Vijender Gupta, an MLA from Rohini Constituency and Harish Khurana, spokesperson and Incharge of BJP, Delhi Media Relations.

"In view of allegations made in complaint, testimonies of CW1 to CW4 and material brought on record by them this court is prima facie satisfied that there are sufficient grounds for summoning of all respondents as accused qua offence punishable u/s 500 r/w Sec.34 IPC," Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Dharmender Singh ordered.

The complainants have alleged that the four, in furtherance of their common intention, indulged in a malicious campaign to tarnish the reputation of the Delhi Jal Board as well as Raghav Chadha.

It was the case of the complainants that in January this year, a Press Conference was held by Adesh Gupta, Ramvir Singh and Harish Khurana wherein allegations were leveled that the complainants had committed the scam of Rs.26,000 crore and referred to the Delhi Jal Board as "Dalali Jal Board".

According to the complainants, the respondents had also made defamatory statements on social media including Facebook, Twitter and in print media and that the link of Press Conference was widely shared by the official page of BJP, Delhi on Twitter.

Furthermore, it was also alleged that another Press Conference was held in the same month by Ramvir Singh and Vijender Gupta in which defamatory statements were again made against complainants.

"In the present case, respondents held two Press Conferences, made tweets which were conveyed to public through social media, print media and visible representation and words/ statements which were spoken/made in said Press Conferences and later published in print and social media and represented by way of large boards mounted across the Delhi clearly show that allegations of corruption have been levelled against complainants and as per testimony of CW1 and CW3 made on oath, these allegations are false and concocted and have been made only to defame the complainants and to gain political mileage," the Court said.

The Court also discussed the parameters for summoning a person as an accused on a complaint under Section 200 Cr.PC. which provides for the examination of a complaint.

The Court relied on the decision of Smt. Nagawwa Vs. Veeranna Shivalingappa Konjalgi, AIR 1976 wherein it was held that:

"…at the stage of issuing process the Magistrate is mainly concerned with the allegations made in the complaint or the evidence led in support of the same and he is only to be prima facie satisfied whether there are sufficient grounds for proceeding against the accused. It is not the province of the Magistrate to enter into a detailed discussion of the merits or demerits of the case nor can the High Court go into this matter in its revisional jurisdiction which is a very limited one."

Accordingly, the Court was of the view that there were sufficient grounds for proceedings against concerned respondents.

The complainants' were represented by Advocates Prashant Manchanda, Mohit Saroha, Aditi S., Shashi Kant, Sakshi Uppal and Vaibhav.

CaseTitle: Delhi Jal Board & Anr. Vs. Adesh Gupta & Ors.

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