Court takes cognisance of defamation case against ex-Delhi Min

Satyendra Jain

New Delhi,  A Delhi court today took cognisance of a criminal defamation complaint filed by Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain against sacked minister Kapil Mishra for allegedly defaming him by levelling graft charges against him.

Metropolitan Magistrate Shefali Barnala Tandon listed the matter for July 14 for recording pre-summoning evidence in support of complaint of Jain, who was present in the court.

Advocate Gautam Dhamija, appearing for Jain, argued that Mishra had made defamatory statements before the national media.

The counsel alleged that Mishra used his official Twitter handle also to defame Jain and instead of going to any probe agency, he had levelled the allegations before the media to defame the Health Minister.

The court also heard arguments on another defamation complaint by Jain against BJP MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa for alleging that the minister was indulging in circulating huge amounts of illegitimate money within the party.

The court listed the complaint against Sirsa for consideration on June three.

Jain has also accused a media house for publishing the alleged “libellous and slanderous statements” made by Sirsa.

The counsel argued that these allegations were made in front of the national media but only one newspaper published it which shows they were hand in glove with each other.

Jain had on May 19 filed two criminal defamation complaints against Mishra and Sirsa for allegedly defaming him by levelling graft charges against him.

If convicted, the offence of defamation entails a maximum punishment of two years.

Jain in his complaint against Mishra, who was earlier heading the water department, submitted that on May 7, he had made a statement before the media accusing him of handing over bribe of Rs two crore to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on May five.

He said his family members and a lot of people from his constituency had questioned him about the incident which had caused irreparable damage to his reputation.

Regarding Sirsa, Jain said that on May 9, the MLA made libellous statements by levelling corruption allegation against him. He said that making a statement on the basis of “hearsay” without any proof or evidence supporting it, is not only unbecoming of an MLA, but also a crime of defaming a person.