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Salaria files criminal defamation case against Manpreet, Sidhu

Manpreet had claimed that Salaria concealed facts from the ECI in his nomination papers, after a Mumbai-based woman accused him of rape. Sidhu had used the case to target Salaria in election rallies.

punjab Updated: Mar 09, 2018 19:29 IST
Vinay Dhingra
Vinay Dhingra
Hindustan Times, Pathankot
Salaria,Swaran Singh Salaria,Manpreet Singh Badal
BJP leader Swaran Singh Salaria.(HT Photo)

BJP leader Swaran Singh Salaria, who had unsuccessfully contested the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll in October last year, has filed a criminal defamation case against Punjab local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and state finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal in Pathankot district court for statements they made during campaigning.

Manpreet had claimed that Salaria had concealed facts from the Election Commission of India (ECI) in his nomination papers for the elections, after a Mumbai-based woman accused the BJP leader of rape. Sidhu had used the news of the case against Salaria to target him in election rallies, in his inimitable style.

Salaria had sent legal notices to both the ministers to apologise for their utterances or face cases. Manpreet had failed to respond, while Sidhu had sought some clarification. Later, he stopped responding to any communication from the BJP leader.

On Friday, the court of chief judicial magistrate Kapil Aggarwal, where Salaria was present, fixed April 20 as the next date of hearing.

“I appeared in court and filed a criminal defamation case against Navjot Singh Sidhu and Manpreet Singh Badal as they hit me below the belt for a crime I never committed. They tarnished my image for political motives and will now face the music,” Salaria, who had lost the election to Congress’ Sunil Jakhar by 1.9 lakh votes, said.

He added that the case had been filed under sections 500 and 501 of the Indian Penal Code.

Salaria’s counsel, Meena Trinach, told HT, “We have filed a criminal defamation suit on Friday. However, I am still awaiting a reply to the legal notices. If my client wants, we will also file a civil defamation case, seeking Rs 100 crore each from both the respondents.”

First Published: Mar 09, 2018 19:05 IST