The Trinamool Congress, on Tuesday, filed a defamation case against state housing minister and senior CPI(M) leader Gautam Deb for alleging that the Opposition party had used black money for its election campaigns. In his defence, the minister submitted evidence to the Election Commission to support his claims.
The chief metropolitan magistrate (CMM), Rabi Ranjan Chakraborty, issued summons to Deb and directed him to appear in court on May 26 to respond to the charges. "A prima facie case has been filed against Deb under Section 500 of the IPC," the CMM said.
Deb had earlier alleged that R15 lakh each was given to all the 226 Trinamool candidates barring one. "Black money amounting to R33.99 crore has been distributed among the candidates. Fake coupons have been issued to show that the money came through donations from the public," Deb had alleged. Sources said that, if Deb failed to prove the allegations, he might land up in jail.
Trinamool Congress general secretary Mukul Roy filed the criminal defamation case through advocates Debasish Roy and Rajdeep Majumdar. Roy went to Calcutta high court and filed a R15-crore civil defamation suit against Deb.
Later in the day, Deb handed over documents and a sealed envelope to the state's chief electoral officer to prove his allegations. "I met the CEO and gave him proof of my allegations. I also informed him that I'm ready to meet the EC's full bench in this regard," Deb said.