The Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday appeared before Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court through virtual mode in connection with a defamation case filed by Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. Shekhawat recently filed a criminal defamation case against Rajasthan Chief Minister Gehlot for allegedly defaming him with remarks on the ‘Sanjivani’ scam.
The Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Harjeet Singh Jaspal today after noted the presence of Gehlot, listed the matter for August 21 for the purpose of scrutiny of documents. ACMM Jaspal further noted that Sessions Court of Rouse Avenue Court last week did not stay the proceedings of the complaint case while hearing the revision petition of Gehlot. Gehlot had in Sessions Court of Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court challenged the summons issued and proceeding going on against him by the Magistrate Court in a defamation complaint filed by the Union Minister Gajendra Singh Sekhawat. The Sessions court noted that the crux of allegations made in the above complaint case is that the petitioner herein had made some statements and speeches published in print as well as electronic media against the respondent, which are claimed by the respondent to be defamatory and damaging his reputation and to have been made maliciously and for political reasons. The statements broadly pertain to the involvement and status of the respondent and his family members as accused in one Sanjeevani Scam. The petitioner is presently serving as Chief Minister of the State of Rajasthan and he is also stated to be holding the charge of the Home Ministry and the respondent is stated to be a Cabinet Minister of the Central Government and a member of Lok Sabha from Jodhpur, Rajasthan and thus, both the parties to this petitions are holding high positions and respect in public, noted the Court. On July 6 this year, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Harpreet Singh Jaspal said, having considered the facts and circumstances, the testimonies of the complainant witnesses, and the evidence placed on record, it prima facie appears that the accused (Ashok Gehlot) has made specific defamatory statements, against the complainant. Further, it prima facie appears that the defamatory statements of the accused have been sufficiently published in the newspaper/electronic media/social media, which may make the right-thinking members of the society shun the complainant, said the ACMM. It appears that the accused by his spoken words and by words which were intended to be read, have made defamatory imputations against the complainant, knowing and intending to harm the reputation of the complainant. At the cost of brevity, it is again specified here that the discussion here cannot be said to be a comment on the final merits of the case, as the same is a matter of trial, the ACMM observed. In view of the aforesaid discussion there exists sufficient grounds to summon the accused Ashok Gehlot, under section 500 of the Indian Penal Code. Accordingly, the said accused be summoned, upon the filing of PF and RC, as per rules, said ACMM Harjeet Singh Jaspal. Appearing for Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa earlier, submitted that Ashok Gehlot is a Rajasthan Chief Minister and he is talking about a pending investigation. The question is who is in control of this investigation. CrPC does not recognise the Chief Minister, he cannot access the Chargesheet even, if it goes to the court. Under the Rajasthan Police rules, there is no role of anyone except the police force not even the CM or someone from the Home Department. Making false statements without having any access to the investigation officially. The statements are defamatory to me and he cannot claim protection under Rule197 by going out in public and disclosing a close-door investigation, Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa argued. The act is involved in this case, he had no business in making these false statements against his colleague and giving false information public at large it is an act of defamation, Pahwa while concluding his submissions noted. Union Minister Gajendra Singh Sekhawat has recently moved Delhi Court and filed a defamation case against Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot alleging that Gehlot has made speeches against him saying that the allegations regarding the Sanjeevani Scam are proven against him. (ANI)