A Delhi court on Monday asked former union minister Jagdish Tytler to appear before it on April 18 in a defamation case.
Additional chief metropolitan magistrate (ACMM) Ajay Panday allowed the exemption application moved by the counsel for Tytler on the ground that he was busy in view of the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.
The ACMM, who took up the defamation case first time after its transfer from a Ludhiana Court on the directions of the Supreme Court, said, "I cannot grant exemption till the conclusion of election process. Let the accused appear before me on April 18."
Harvinder Singh Phoolka, a senior advocate, had lodged a criminal case in a court at Ludhiana in Punjab against Tytler for allegedly making derogatory remark against him in a news programme, aired on NDTV channel on September 7, 2004.
The Supreme Court had transferred the matter to Delhi on the plea of Tytler, who is contesting from North-East Delhi Parliamentary seat on a Congress ticket, considering various grounds including alleged threat to his life in Ludhiana.
The role of Tytler during 1984 anti-Sikh riots is still under the judicial scrutiny, the complaint noted.
Senior advocate Phoolka, who has been taking up cases of riot-victims, was allegedly abused by Tytler during the programme.