The all-India general secretary of the Trinamool Congress, Mukul Roy, filed two defamation cases — criminal and civil — that seeks damages of Rs. 15 crore in two courts in the city on Tuesday against senior leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Gautam Deb for alleging that the Trinamool was using black money to fund its election campaign.
The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Bankshall Court, taking cognisance of the complaint, issued summons to Mr. Deb, who is also the State's Housing Minister, to appear before it on May 26. The matter will be taken up for hearing then.
The Calcutta High Court admitted the civil defamation suit. The plaint will be served on Mr. Deb, who will be required to submit a reply following which the process will start, according to Mr. Roy's counsel.
Mr. Deb had on April 16 alleged that the Trinamool was using black money in its campaign for the ongoing Assembly elections in the State. He had also pointed out then that Rs. 15 lakh had been distributed with the knowledge of Mr. Roy and party chief Mamata Banerjee to all but one of the 226 Trinamool Congress candidates.
“A criminal defamation case was filed [against Mr. Deb] at the Bankshall Court,” Mr. Roy told journalists. “After listening to our appeal, the court has taken cognisance of the complaint,” he added.
In the petition, he claimed that the allegations were baseless, without any proof and a vilification campaign against the Trinamool.