BJP president Nitin Gadkari on Monday filed a criminal defamation case against senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh in a Delhi court for accusing him of having business links with BJP MP Ajay Sancheti, who allegedly made R500 crore through the coal block allocation controversy.
Gadkari’s advocate, Pinky Anand, contended that Singh’s statements linking the BJP chief to Sancheti was extensively reported in the media — causing injury to his reputation. The court has fixed October 16 for further hearing.Anand told the court that he had sent a legal notice to Singh on September 14. In his statement recorded before the metropolitan magistrate, Gadkari said, "These statements (by Singh) are totally false and I have no business relations or business associations — direct or indirect — with Ajay Sancheti or his companies." He termed Singh’s statements "false and defamatory", and said that they had tarnished his reputation in the eyes of the public. The fact that the allegations were widely circulated and covered by the media did not help, Gadkari added.
The list of witnesses given to the court with Gadkari’s complaint named nine persons, including several journalists. His own name figured as witness number one.
In the complaint, filed through advocates Ajay Digpaul and Balendu Shekhar, Gadkari sought Singh’s prosecution under Sections 499 (defamation) and 500 (punishment for defamation) of the Indian Penal Code, which attracts a maximum punishment of two years — with or without a fine.
Singh, however, appeared unfazed by the case filed against him by Gadkari, stating that he would do more “research” in the BJP president’s business deals.
“I will see when the summons comes... I will have to do some more research now on his (Gadkari’s) business deals and those of his friends,” Singh said in a telephonic conversation.
With PTI inputs