12 Dec 2022 11:14 AM GMT
The Supreme Court bench, comprising Justices S K Kaul and A S Oka, on Monday refused to quash the criminal defamation case filed against Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma over the statements made against him by Sisodia in a press conference on June 4, 2022. Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for Sisodia submitted that,...
The Supreme Court bench, comprising Justices S K Kaul and A S Oka, on Monday refused to quash the criminal defamation case filed against Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma over the statements made against him by Sisodia in a press conference on June 4, 2022.
Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for Sisodia submitted that, "The petitioner had not made any false statement. I said you have given a contract. It is a fact. You later on said that this contract was given for charity. That you have said after it came in public domain. Now I have nowhere said that you have received money. He has nowhere said that she has received money."
Justice Kaul then remarked, "If you reduce public debate to this level, you should face the consequences. You should unconditionally apologise for your conduct. You have said "Assam Ke BJP CM ke bhrastachar ka ye hai Kacha Chittha". I don't have to explain to you what this means. Your Hindi is as good as mine".
Justice Kaul further asked, "When did this happen? When did you make this statement?"
Mr. Singhvi replied and said, "During March 2020"
Justice Kaul then remarked, "Mid of Covid. Instead of supporting the government you are making allegations. In those urgent times, somebody has done something to work out. If you strongly feel about this then contest it."
Following the disinclination expressed by the bench to entertain the matter, Sisodia's lawyer chose to withdraw the petition. Accordingly, the petition was dismissed as withdrawn.
It is to be mentioned that In a press conference addressed in Delhi on June 4, 2022, Delhi Dy CM Sisodia had allegedly made defamatory statements against Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, accusing him of being involved in corruption by giving a Government contract to his wife's Company for purchasing PPE kits during the first wave of COVID. During the relevant time, Sarma was the Health Minister of the state. It was further alleged by him that while purchases from others were made at Rs.600/- per kit, such kits from the Company of the CM's wife were purchased at the rate of Rs.990/- per PPE kit.
Thereafter, a complaint petition was moved by Assam's CM Sarma before the CJM Court, Kamrup alleging that Sisodia had defamed him by making defamatory statements leveling corruption charges against him in a press conference addressed at New Delhi.
The Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kamrup (M), Guwahati, after considering the statement of Sarma, and the statement of 2 (two) witnesses examined under Section 202 Cr.P.C., by order dated August 20, 2022, found sufficient ground to proceed against the petitioner under sections 499/500 Cr.P.C.
Sisodia was thereafter issued a summons for appearance in the proceeding. Challenging those very proceedings, Sisodia moved to the High Court praying to quash the same.
The High Court had refused to quash the proceedings. Sisodia had thereafter preferred an SLP before the Supreme Court.
Case Title: Manish Sisodia v. State of Assam And Anr. SLP(Crl) No. 11684/2022