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Digvijaya appears in court on Gadkari defamation suit


singhNew Delhi, Nov 1 (IANS) Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Saturday appeared before a Delhi court here after it issued a bailable warrant against him in connection with a defamation case filed by union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.

Earlier in the day, Digvijaya Singh did not appear before the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha and sought exemption for the day, which was opposed by Gadkari’s counsel.

Taking a dim view of the Congress leader’s absence even as his lawyer moved an application seeking exemption from personal appearance, the court issued the warrant against Digvijaya Singh and also sought Gadkari’s personal appearance in court on the next date of hearing, November 10.

The Congress leader appeared before the court later in the day and requested it to withdraw the warrant while assuring his presence on the next date of hearing.

The magistrate then recalled her order and cancelled the warrant.

The court not only directed Digivijaya Singh to be present November 10, but also warned Gadkari of dismissing his plea if he failed to appear before the court on that date.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Gadkari had in October 1, 2012 filed a defamation case against Digvijaya Singh, who had accused him of having business links with BJP parliamentarian Ajay Sancheti who allegedly pocketed a huge sum in the allocation of coal blocks, which the Supreme Court later cancelled.

It was also alleged in the complaint that Digvijaya Singh had accused Gadkari of pocketing Rs.490 crore in the allocation to Sancheti.

In his petition, Gadkari sought Digvijaya Singh’s prosecution under sections 499 (defamation) and 500 (punishment for defamation) of the Indian Penal Code.

Gadkari, in his statement recorded in court, denied having any business ties with Sancheti and said Digvijaya Singh levelled “totally false and defamatory” allegations against him to “give the impression that I have been responsible for allocation of the coal mines” to Sancheti.

Gadkari had alleged that Digvijaya Singh levelled defamatory allegations against him to lower his dignity and malign and tarnish his image.

The court November 17, 2012 issued summons to Digvijaya Singh after finding prima facie evidence against him.

On December 21, 2012, he was granted bail by the court after he appeared before it in pursuance of the summons issued against him.

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