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Court summons Somnath Bharti in criminal defamation complaint by woman scribe

Additional chief metropolitan magistrate Samar Vishal directed Bharti to appear before the court on April 10 for allegedly hurling abuses at Ranjhana Dwivedi in the show aired on November 20, 2018.

delhi Updated: Mar 28, 2019 01:40 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
court,summon,somnath bharti
A Delhi court has summoned AAP MLA Somnath Bharti as accused in a criminal defamation complaint filed by a woman journalist last year for referring to her in an objectionable manner during a live show on a news channel.(Photo by Virendra Singh Gosain/ Hindustan Times)

A Delhi court has summoned AAP MLA Somnath Bharti as accused in a criminal defamation complaint filed by a woman journalist last year for referring to her in an objectionable manner during a live show on a news channel.

Additional chief metropolitan magistrate Samar Vishal directed Bharti to appear before the court on April 10 for allegedly hurling abuses at Ranjhana Dwivedi in the show aired on November 20, 2018.

“Allegations were prima facie defamatory and referred to Dwivedi, making her an aggrieved person... There exists sufficient grounds to proceed against Bharti. Accordingly, Bharti is summoned for commission of offence of defamation,” the judge said in his order.

In her complaint, the journalist alleged that during the show, she asked certain questions of public interest, and Bharti replied in a very “defamatory”, “arrogant” and “contemptuous” manner using “abusive” language.

She alleged he had called her an “agent of BJP” and made an objectionable comment against her. The AAP leader had joined the TV show over the phone to discuss an attack on Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The legislator had later apologised to her in his tweet, saying his words were not targeted at her.

Bharti said he was yet to get any summons.

“I have not received any summons but I will surely appear before the court once I get it. Now even I am going to pursue this case with all evidence as the anchor had made many below-the-belt comments. I am going to take legal recourse against the anchor and the channel,” Bharti said.

First Published: Mar 28, 2019 01:00 IST