Deshmukh sues state BJP chief for defamation
Former Chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has slapped a criminal case against BJP state unit president Nitin Gadkari in response to his allegation that the Congress leader was involved in a Rs 2,000-crore fraud. Kanchan Chaudhari reports.india Updated: Jan 22, 2009 01:06 IST
Former Chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has slapped a criminal case against Bharatiya Janata Party state unit president Nitin Gadkari in response to his allegation that the Congress leader was involved in a Rs 2,000-crore fraud.
Deshmukh has sought action under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code against Gadkari for making “false and baseless allegations” and causing “considerable distress and embarrassment” to him.
On Wednesday, Deshmukh personally appeared in the 29th Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court at Dadar and verified his complaint filed two days ago.
Magistrate RB Agarwaal put some questions to Deshmukh.
“The court has adjourned the matter till February 21,” said Deshmukh’s counsel V.A. Gangal.
On December 18, while addressing a press conference in Nagpur, Gadkari had alleged that Deshmukh had got tender conditions relaxed to favour a private firm for the contract in the Sion-Panvel road project of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation.
Gadkari not only repeated the allegations against Deshmukh on December 30, but also published a booklet titled Ha Ghya Pathkar Ghotalyacha Purava (here is the proof of the road tax fraud).
Deshmukh has contended in his complaint that the allegations are blatantly false and frivolous, defamatory, and have caused considerable distress and embarrassment to him.
Gadkari has denied there has been any defamation of the former chief minister.
Replying to a notice issued by Deshmukh’s lawyers, Gadkari claimed he had found the former CM had betrayed the trust of the people while in office and it was his duty as a leader of an opposition political party to act in the public interest and expose corrupt practices.