NEW DELHI: A cost of Rs 5,000 was today imposed by a court here on Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit for her non-appearance in a defamation case lodged by her against BJP leader Vijender Gupta.
“…The direction that was earlier issued by this court was for the complainant’s (Dikshit) appearance for her examination and cross examination in the case lodged by her.
As she did not appear, a cost of Rs 5,000 is imposed on the complainant.
“Now list the matter for further hearing on January 27, 2014. The complainant is directed to appear without failing for her examination and cross examination…,” Metropolitan Magistrate Namrita Aggarwal said.
The court, however, allowed Dikshit’s application for exemption from personal appearance for today but directed her to remain present before it on January 27, 2014, the next date of hearing, “without giving any excuse”.
During the hearing, Dikshit’s counsel sought exemption for his client, saying she could not appear as she is busy in election meetings for finalizing the list of candidates for the upcoming elections.
The counsel for accused Gupta, however argued that the ground sought by the CM is “ridiculous”, specifically in the light of earlier direction of this court.
Gupta’s counsel Ajay Burman opposed the plea of Dikshit’s counsel, saying his client is being harassed just because he is an accused in the case.
“I (Gupta) am likely to contest upcoming Delhi Assembly elections from Rohini Constituency in December, even then also I am before the court,” the counsel said on behalf of Gupta.
The court had on August 6 framed criminal defamation charges against ex-Delhi BJP chief Gupta in the complaint filed by Dikshit.
Dikshit had filed a complaint against Gupta alleging that the BJP leader had used “uncivilized” language against her in the run up to the MCD polls last year while accusing her of helping and conniving with power companies. . The court had directed Dikshit to appear before it today to record her evidence against Gupta.
The BJP leader had earlier said that when he seeks exemption from appearance, he is acted against while the CM’s exemption is allowed.
To this, the court had assured him that coercive action would also be taken against Dikshit if she fails to appear on October 28.
“As on next date her evidence is to be recorded….
Therefore, whenever the court requires attendance of either the accused or the complainant, they will have to come before it. That court does not favor anyone,” the judge had said.
The court had on July 1 found that prima facie an offence of defamation is made out against Gupta.
The court had framed defamation charges against Gupta after he pleaded not guilty and had said, “I am feeling humiliated. If you (court) go through the interview, nowhere have I used any defamatory word against the Chief Minister. If I am guilty, put me in jail right away”. -PTI