Chief minister Sheila Dikshit was on Friday slapped with a fine of Rs 3,000 by the Delhi high court for failing to file a reply in a defamation suit filed by her against BJP leader Vijender Gupta.
Justice Kailash Gambhir imposed the fine as Dikshit's counsel sought adjournment of the case saying they needed more time to file the reply to Gupta's contention questioning the high court's power to hear her defamation suit against him.
Giving last opportunity to Dikshit's counsel, justice Kailash Gambhir posted the matter for March 15.
Gupta's counsel Ajay Digpaul opposed Dikshi's plea saying for the last four hearings, her counsel had only sought adjournment without filing the reply to Gupta's plea challenging her defamation suit against him on the ground that it was "not maintainable" in the high court.
The chief minister has filed the suit against Gupta for allegedly erecting hoardings across the city accusing her government of corruption in determination of new power tariff and conniving with the private discoms.
Dikshit has demanded a token Re 1 as damages in her suit. She has alleged that the BJP under Gupta's leadership erected hoardings in June 2010, which said her government had "openly looted thousands of crores of rupees".
The suit says Gupta got hoardings put up, accusing Delhi Congress government of misrepresenting facts before the people of Delhi on power tariff.
The advertisements also claimed that the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) was going to recommend reduction in power tariff, but the "chief minister came in the way".
Dikshit moved court after Gupta refused to tender a "public apology for the slander" as demanded by her. Gupta had maintained that he would reply in court and is represented by counsel Aman Lekhi.
As per the allegations, the hoardings were erected at Pusa Road, Karol Bagh, Shankar Road, Hari Nagar, Jhandewalan, Delhi Gate, Rani Jhansi Road, Najafgarh Road, Rajendra Nagar Road, New Rohtak Road, Filmistan and Subzi Mandi.