Delhi BJP President Vijender Gupta was today granted bail in a defamation case filed against him by chief minister Sheila Dikshit in a city court which also witnessed high drama after the lawyers were asked to get out of it.
Metropolitan magistrate Saumya Chouhan granted bail to Gupta on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 15,000 with one surety of like amount, after he personally appeared before it in response to the summons issued to him earlier in the case.
The drama started in the court room when Dikshit's counsel Mehmood Pracha filed an application seeking exemption for her from personal appearance for the day. The plea was was opposed by Gupta's lawyers.
"How can the court allow the exemption application of the chief minister, she should also be asked to be present in the court on each hearing as she is the complainant in the case," Gupta's advocates Ajay Digpaul, Neeraj Kumar and Abhay Kumar Verma contended.
They also argued that the manner in which the chief minister had earlier recorded her 15-page statement in the court in just 10 minutes was "suspicious" and appeared as if she had already written her statement and submitted it before the judge when she had made her personal appearance.
The court, however, allowed Dikshit's plea for the day's exemption in the case.
This was opposed by Gupta's counsel who said, "the judge cannot pass such order".
The judge then asked everyone, except the arguing counsel for the two parties, to vacate the court room.
Around 20 lawyers and other members of the Saket court bar association, who were present in the court room, raised strong objection to the judge's move and said the "court cannot say like this".
Even the advocates assisting Gupta's counsel were asked to leave. One of them said, "We are officers of the court and even we are related to the case. Why should we leave the court room?"
Irked over the lawyers' reaction, the magistrate said it was her court room and she can give any direction and adjourned the matter for the next date of hearing.
"After the lawyers' uproar in the court room, the case is adjourned for October 12," the magistrate said in her order adding that the "crowd" should move out of the courtroom.
Agitated over the judge's move of passing the order without hearing them, Digpaul said, "Your (magistrate) statement is contentious. If you cannot hear the case, please transfer it to another court but do not call the lawyers as crowd."
The battery of lawyers, appearing for the BJP leader then went to the court of District judge R K Gauba to complain against the magistrate.
"We went to the district judge and informed him that the magistrate hearing the defamation case has not heard our submissions and has passed the order. She has even thrown the case file from her dias," Digpaul told reporters, adding that the district judge assured them that the matter will be taken care of.