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Libel case: Uma plea rejected

india Updated: Nov 11, 2006 19:03 IST
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THE COURT of Additional District & Sessions Judge V K Pandey on Friday dismissed the revision petition of Bharatiya Janshakti (BJ) president Uma Bharti challenging the lower court order which had held that cognisance of defamation suit filed by All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Digvijay Singh against Bharti by a court of judicial magistrate was perfectly legal.

Singh had filed the libel petition against Bharti for levelling charges of corruption and misconduct against him as chief minister of Madhya Pradesh during campaigning for the last Assembly election. 

Lawyer for Bharti, Pankaj Dixit, had contended in his petition that the lower court did not have the jurisdiction to take cognisance of defamation  suit filed by Singh under Section 500 of the IPC, since the allegations of corruption and misconduct were levelled by Uma Bharti at a time when he was the Chief Minister and any plaint of defamation should have been filed by the public prosecutor on his behalf and not Singh individually.

If it had happened, only the sessions court would have been empowered to take cognisance of the complaint and not the court of judicial magistrate, he contended.

The court, however, held that Section 199 (2) of the Cr PC empowering the public prosecutor to present defamation plaint against anyone making allegedly malicious charges against the chief minister does not bar the person concerned (Digvijay Singh in this case) to move court with a defamation plaint individually under sections 199 (1) and 199 (6) of the Cr PC individually. Advocate Ajay Gupta appeared on behalf of Digvijay Singh.