‘Classic case of slander: BJP sends legal notices to Siddaramaiah, DK Shivakumar over Covid-19 scam allegation
The BJP has issued legal notices to Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar, Congress leaders in Karnataka, for what the ruling party said were comments harming its reputation by alleging irregularities in the management of the coronavirus pandemic in the state.
The two senior Congress leaders had last week alleged a “Rs 2,000 crore plus” scam in purchase of Covid-19 related equipment and demanded a judicial probe into the matter.
Siddaramiah, the Leader of opposition in Karnataka assembly, and Congress’ state unit president DK Shivakumar addressed a press conference claiming that the state government had spent Rs 4,167 crore till date to combat the pandemic.
They had alleged that more than Rs 2,000 crore of the amount spent had been siphoned off through corrupt practices by inflating the prices of equipment like ventilators, personal protection equipment (PPE) kits, sanitisers, gloves and other material.
They also released some documents which they said showed that the material had been procured at artificially high prices.
The BS Yediyurappa-led BJP had government hit back, saying the allegations were false and baseless.
Ravi Kumar N, the BJP’s general secretary in Karnataka, slapped the notices on Thursday through a lawyer.
“All the allegations in the press statement made by you, have been made intentionally with a view to damage the reputation of the Bharatiya Janata Party in which my client is the General Secretary and the same is a classic case of slander which constitutes both civil and criminal offence of defamation,” the notice said.
“My client instructs me to state that the baseless allegations made in the press statement have caused immense harm to the reputation of my client,” it said.
“In these circumstances, the present notice is being issued with a demand from my client that you forthwith withdraw all the allegations by issuing an appropriate statement and unequivocally tender an unconditional apology. Failing which, my client will be constrained to take appropriate legal action against you,” it said.