The Gauhati High Court has dismissed a petition by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia praying for quashing a criminal defamation case filed against him by Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma over purported corruption charges levelled against the latter.
Sisodia is scheduled to appear before the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s (CJM) court here on November 19 in connection with the original case filed by Sarma in June.
Justice Kalyan Rai Surana in his order said that Sisodia, also an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader, was not able to make out any case for quashing the proceedings pending before the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) of Kamrup (Metropolitan).
“Thus, this petition fails and the same is dismissed,” the order said.
Senior advocate Devajit Saikia, who is representing the Assam CM in the criminal defamation case, said that the AAP leader was initially asked to appear before the court on September 29.
“He (Sisodia) did not appear on that day citing personal reasons. The next date has been fixed for November 19,” Saikia said.
The chief minister had on August 5 recorded his statement before the court regarding his case against Sisodia.
Sarma had filed a criminal defamation case against Sisodia on June 30 for making ‘baseless’ corruption charges against him in connection with the supply of PPE kits at ‘higher than market rates’ to National Health Mission (NHM) authorities during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The AAP leader had claimed that Sarma placed urgent supply orders to the firms of his wife and son’s business partners.
Sarma was the state health minister when the orders were placed in 2020 during the first BJP-led state government.
Riniki Bhuyan Sarma, wife of the Assam Chief Minister had on June 21 filed a Rs 100-crore defamation case against the Delhi Deputy CM over the same allegation.
The high court dismissed Sisodia’s petition on Friday.
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