You have to face consequences: SC slams Manish Sisodia in defamation case filed by Himanta Biswa Sarma

You have to face consequences: SC slams Manish Sisodia in defamation case filed by Himanta Biswa Sarma
You have to face consequences: SC slams Manish Sisodia in defamation case filed by Himanta Biswa Sarma

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday, December 12, dismissed Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia’s plea seeking the quashing of defamation proceedings initiated against him by Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. Sisodia urged the top court to overrule the Gauhati high court’s November 4 order which had dismissed Sisodia’s plea to quash defamation proceedings pending against him. Sarma sought Sisodia to be tried for defamation after the former had accused the latter of corruption during the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ | Accused of horse trading, BJP leader Chandolia files complaint against AAP leader

Refusing to entertain Sisodia’s plea, a two-judge bench of Justices S.K. Kaul and A.S. Oka at the top court on Monday, December 12, said, “If you reduce the public debate to this level, you have to face the consequences.”

The apex court observed that instead of realising what the country was going through during the pandemic, the petitioner was making allegations.

At this stage, Sisodia’s counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi withdrew the petition.

Before he withdrew, Singhvi, on behalf of his client, said one cannot use the authority to “browbeat” others and that the petitioner had never said any money was taken. However, the court did not agree with Singhvi’s argument.

Sarma had filed a criminal defamation case against Sisodia for making “baseless” corruption allegations against him in connection with the supply of PPE kits at “higher than market rates” to the National Health Mission (NHM) authorities during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

READ | India-China Clash: ‘Our army gave befitting reply,’ says Rajnath Singh

The AAP leader had claimed that Sarma, as the state health minister in 2020, had given the supply orders to the firm of his wife. Sarma has denied these allegations.

On November 4, the high court in its order had said Sisodia had not been able to make out any case for quashing the proceedings in the matter which is pending disposal before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kamrup, at Guwahati.

The high court had noted Sarma filed the complaint alleging that on June 4 this year Sisodia addressed a press conference in New Delhi where he made a defamatory statement against the Assam chief minister accusing him of indulging in corruption.

It took note of Sarma’s complaint about Sisodia accusing him of corruption in giving a government contract to his wife’s company for purchasing PPE kits.

It was alleged that while such PPE kits were purchased from others for Rs 600 apiece, the same was bought from the company owned by Sarma’s wife at the rate of Rs 990 per kit.

READ | MP Congress leader Raja Pateria arrested for ‘kill PM’ remark

The high court had noted the chief judicial magistrate had in August this year found sufficient ground to proceed against Sisodia and issued summons to him.

Riniki Bhuyan Sarma, the wife of the Assam chief minister, had on June 21 filed a Rs 100-crore defamation case against the Delhi deputy chief minister over the same allegation.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here