Court to hear defamation case against Smriti Irani on January 23
An Uttar Pradesh court on Saturday fixed January 23 as the next date of hearing in the case filed by shooter Vartika Singh against Union minister Smriti Irani and two others for allegedly demanding money to make her a member of the central women's commission.
The MP-MLA court has summoned Vartika Singh and witnesses Utkarsh Vikram, Ajit Pratap Singh, Krishna Pratap Singh and Kiran Singh for recording their statements.
Vartika Singh had filed a case of defamation against and her aides for maligning her image.
"I do not have any relationship with any political party," Vartika Singh had said earlier.
Irani's legal counsel had in earlier hearings described the case as based on "the most bizarre and mischievous set of falsehoods" and that "political patronage" is written large on the matter.
Days after she was herself named in a police complaint, the shooter had alleged that people close to the minister issued her a fake letter, appointing her as a member the central women's commission, a possible reference to the National Commission for Women.
Vartika Singh had alleged that Vijay Gupta and Rajnish Singh, the two ''aides'' of the Union minister, initially demanded ₹1 crore from her and then brought the amount down to ₹25 lakh.
She also alleged that one of the men talked to her in an obscene manner.
On November 23, however, Gupta had lodged a complaint against the shooter and another person at Musafirkhana Police Station in Amethi district, accusing them of levelling unfounded charges against him and trying to spoil his image, following which police had lodged an FIR against her.
Vartika Singh, however, claimed that the complaint was lodged after she threatened to expose "corruption".