Court summons Delhi Health Minister, others in defamation case

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A court on Wednesday summoned Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain and Aam Aadmi Party leaders Atishi Marlena, Raghav Chadha, Sourabh Bharadwaj, and Durgesh Pathak in a defamation case filed by a BJP councillor.

Justice Ravindra Kumar Pandey said the court is of the view that prima facie the accused persons have committed the offence punishable under 499/500 of IPC read with Section 34 IPC, and hence, these accused be summoned through SHO, PS Civil Lines on March 14 at 2 p.m.

“It is averred that accused persons with dishonest intention to lower the moral and intellectual character of the complainant in the eyes of the general public had made defamatory imputation which was published widely in the print and electronic media. The accused persons have levelled false allegations so that image of the complainant and image of the other party leaders may be tarnished and with the sole motive to achieve wrongful gain,” the order read.

Petitioner Chhail Bihari Goswami, a BJP councilor from Naraina in North Delhi Municipal Corporation, contended that the AAP leaders had held a press conference in which they had made allegations that were defamatory in nature by claiming that there was a corruption of Rs 1,400 crore in the North MCD and Pathak had alleged that the alleged property tax of sum of Rs 1,400 crore was illegally collected by BJP councillors and were illegally distributed among themselves.

It was also alleged that the BJP and its councillors have turned the corporations into a “centre for corruption” and these statements have live streamed on the Facebook Page of Aam Aadmi Party and was published in various Anewspapers on November 2, 2020, the plea said.

The plea said that Jain also tweeted “baseless allegations” on December 11, 2020 against BJP leaders and North MCD led by the BJP.

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