Warrant against Digvijaya over Gadkari defamation

New Delhi: A court here Saturday issued a bailable warrant against Congress leader Digvijaya Singh after he failed to appear before it in a criminal defamation case lodged against him by union minister Nitin Gadkari.

Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha also warned Road Transport and Highways Minister Gadkari of dismissing his plea if he also fails to appear before the court on the next date of hearing, Nov 10.

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“Issue bailable warrant in the sum of Rs.10,000 with one surety of the like amount against the accused (Digvijaya Singh) for Nov 10. The complainant (Gadkari) is also directed to appear in person positively on the next date of hearing, failing which complaint shall be dismissed,” the court said.

Digvijaya Singh did not appear before the court Saturday and sought exemption for the day, which was opposed by Gadkari’s counsel Ajay Digpaul.

After hearing arguments from both sides, the court issued a bailable warrant against the Congress leader and also sought Gadkari’s personal appearance in court.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Gadkari in 2012 had filed a criminal defamation case against Digvijaya Singh, who had accused him of having business links with his party parliamentarian Ajay Sancheti who allegedly pocketed a huge sum in the coal block allocation.

It was also alleged in the complaint that Digvijaya Singh had accused Gadkari of pocketing Rs.490 crore in the coal block allocation to Sancheti.

In his petition, Gadkari sought Digvijaya Singh’s prosecution under sections 499 (defamation) and 500 (punishment for defamation) of the Indian Penal Code.

Gadkari, in his statement recorded in court, denied having any business ties with Sancheti and said Digvijaya Singh levelled “totally false and defamatory” allegations against him to “give the impression that I (Gadkari) have been responsible for allocation of the coal mines” to Sancheti.