The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday issued notice of motion to Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh in a defamation case filed by a Sirsa-based Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) worker stating that Digvijaya had issued a wrong statement alleging RSS workers' role in the July 2011 Mumbai blasts.
The petition filed by advocate Om Parkash Bansal, 79, came up for hearing before the court headed by justice BB Prasoon that issued notice of motion to Digvijaya to file his reply by July 7.
The petitioner alleged that in a Hindi newspaper of July 2011, he had read Digvijaya's remarks that the RSS was involved in the Mumbai bomb blasts and he had sufficient evidence about it. Terming Digvijaya's statement and the news report as scandalous, the petitioner said the allegations were baseless, meant to harm the RSS' reputation.
Petitioner's counsel Deepak Balyan argued that the defamatory statement reflected on each and every member of the RSS, in which a sweeping charge of misconduct was levelled against each activist. The court was informed that the news item lowered not only the petitioner's image in public but also that of the RSS.
Earlier, the Sirsa court on August 11 and October 30 last year had dismissed the petitioner's complaint on the ground that the petitioner was not authorised by the RSS to conduct legal proceedings on its behalf.
But the petitioner, in his petition filed in the high court, challenging the trial court's orders, has submitted that as per the Criminal Procedure Code, the trial court is concerned only with the allegation made in the complaint, evidence read in its support and it has to prima facie satisfy whether there are sufficient grounds for proceeding against the accused. But in the present case, the trial court dismissed his complaint just on the ground of locus standi, the petitioner submitted.