GUWAHATI: The Gauhati High Court has rejected Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s plea to quash defamation suits against Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma pending in the Kamrup district chief justice’s court.
Assam attorney general Debajit Saikia said Sisodia will have to appear in court on November 19 in view of the Supreme Court’s decision on Friday.
“In August, the CJM court had summoned Sisodia directing him to appear in person on September 29. But the Delhi Deputy CM approached the Gauhati HC seeking quashing of the court proceedings,” said Saikia.
“The HC has held that the petitioner Sisodia has not been able to make out any case for quashing the case in the CJM court. Therefore, in continuation of the previous summons, Sisodia will appear before the court on November 19,” he added.
While deciding on Sisodia’s plea, Justice Kalyan Rai Surana underlined that the observations made in his order were related to the Delhi Deputy CM’s plea and the ongoing case should be “decided on its merits”.
The chief minister filed a criminal complaint against Sisodia in July this year, accusing the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader of defamation under the Indian Penal Code for allegedly awarding Sarma a contract to buy expensive PPE kits to a company. His wife Riniki Bhuyan Sarma and his son were partners.
“The court conducted a preliminary inquiry into the case and issued summons to Sisodia after examining two witnesses on August 19. CM Sarma also pronounced the verdict before the court on August 5,” Saikia said.
In addition to the criminal defamation suit, Sarma’s wife filed a defamation suit in June ₹100 crore as compensation by Sisodia in the court of Civil Judge No. 1 of Kamrup district.
Refuting the allegations made in a series of reports by thewire.in portal, Riniki Sarma issued a statement in June denying any wrongdoing. She said that in the first week of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, not one PPE kit was available in Assam and she tried to help by contacting a business acquaintance to deliver 1,500 PPE kits to NHM-Assam. more effort”.
“I signed up for NHM to treat it as part of my corporate social responsibility (CSR). I have not spent a single penny on this supply. I have always been an open minded person who believes in giving back to society. regardless of my husband’s political position,” she said in a statement in June.