Ashok Gehlot’s plea against summons in defamation case denied

Judge (ASJ) MK Nagpal noted that prima facie, Mr Gehlot made allegations against Shekhawat to ‘’derive political benefit’ and defame him

Updated - December 14, 2023 07:32 am IST

Published - December 14, 2023 05:33 am IST - NEW DELHI

 Congress leader and Rajasthan caretaker CM Ashok Gehlot. File.

Congress leader and Rajasthan caretaker CM Ashok Gehlot. File. | Photo Credit: ANI

Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court on December 13 dismissed a plea by former Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot, challenging a magistrate court’s order in which he was summoned as an accused in a defamation case filed by Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) MK Nagpal in a detailed order noted that prima facie, Mr Gehlot made allegations against Shekhawat to ‘’derive political benefit” and defame him.

“Therefore, in view of the above discussion, it is held that even the impugned order dated 06.07.2023 passed by the Ld. ACMM-04 in the above criminal complaint does not suffer from any factual mistake or illegality or impropriety of finding etc. and thus, the same is also being upheld,” the Court said.

Judge Nagpal also upheld the orders of the magistrate court through which the Delhi Police was ordered to conduct an investigation.

Denting the image

The Court noted that no family member of Mr Shekhawat has been named as accused in the First Information Report (FIR) or the chargesheet pertaining to the case.

“Hence, the only reason for such allegations and imputations by the petitioner through these statements is to derive political benefit by denting the image and reputation of the respondent in the eyes of general public, in view of the coming Assembly and Parliamentary elections,” the Court concluded.

To recall, Mr Shekhawat on March 05, had filed a criminal defamation suit against Mr Gehlot for defaming him with remarks on the Sanjivani scam. The complainant, who maintained that the personal attack by Mr. Gehlot has deeply hurt his reputation and that of family, demanded that the court take legal action against the latter and also sought appropriate compensation.

The complaint also said that Mr Gehlot claimed allegations against the complainant stand proved, whereas, as per the complainant, neither he nor any of his family members have been named in any of the charge sheets filed by SOG in the said matter, nor have they ever been summoned by the investigating agencies or by the court.

As per the FIR filed by the SOG in Jaipur, the said matter pertains to allegations against Directors/employees of Sanjeevani Co-operative Society which has usurped huge sums of money belonging to investors and the general public.

In April this year, this court ordered an investigation into the matter through the Delhi Police. The court had asked the Delhi police to investigate if the complainant was addressed as ‘an accused’ in the Sanjeevani Scam by Mr Ashok Gehlot. The police was also to investigate whether allegations against Mr Shekhawat or his family members were proven by the Special Operation Group which is investigating the matter in Rajasthan.

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