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Sanjivani scam: Delhi court concludes hearing arguments in Gehlot’s appeal against Union Minister’s criminal defamation case

New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) A court here on Wednesday concluded hearing arguments on an appeal filed by Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot against Union Minister and BJP leader Gajendra Singh Shekhawat who accused him of making defamatory statements related to the Sanjivani scam.

Additional Sessions Judge M.K. Nagpal of Rouse Avenue Court, who had earlier directed a magisterial court to refrain from passing the final order in Shekhawat’s complaint, said that the same order shall continue until the next date of hearing, slated for November 18.

The court has also directed the parties to file written submissions till the next date of hearing.

Shekhawat has alleged Gehlot of making “misleading statements” in connection with the Sanjivani Credit Cooperative Society scam in Rajasthan.

Gehlot had earlier defended his arguments saying that his statements were truthful and cannot be categorised as defamation.

Gehlot’s counsel had informed Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Harjeet Singh Jaspal of Rouse Avenue Court that Shekhawat had been served notice by the Special Operation Group (SOG) of the Rajasthan Police, which was investigating the alleged Rs 900 crore scam.

Shekhawat had responded to the notice, but Gehlot claimed that Shekhawat had concealed this fact.

Counsel had argued that Gehlot never accused Shekhawat of being “convicted” in the case, stating that “he (Gehlot) said that the complainant (Shekhawat) is also an accused in the case”.

Counsel had also contended that the case did not constitute defamation and that Gehlot had made truthful statements.

On September 19, the court had refused to discharge Gehlot in the criminal defamation complaint by Shekhawat, saying that his request held no merit. Earlier, the court had directed the police to investigate Shekhawat’s complaint.

Jaspal had said that the investigation should be such that the three main questions — whether complainant Shekhawat was addressed as “an accused” in the Sanjivani scam by the accused Gehlot, whether Gehlot stated that the allegations against Shekhawat stand proved in the Sanjivani scam, and whether Shekhawat or his family members have been arrayed as “accused” in the investigation of the scam — are answered.

Shekhawat had filed the defamation case against Gehlot in March this year, stating that an investigation was initiated into the Sanjivani case but his name was not mentioned anywhere, and demanded the prosecution of Gehlot for criminal defamation under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). He also demanded appropriate financial compensation for the loss of his reputation.

Gehlot had said after a budget review meeting at the state secretariat on February 21 that the entire Shekhawat family, including his parents and wife, were involved in the Sanjeevani scam. Gehlot had also welcomed the filing of the defamation case, saying: “At least the case will move forward on this pretext.”



Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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