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Delhi court refuses to discharge Gehlot in criminal defamation case against Union Minister

New Delhi (IANS). A Delhi court on Tuesday refused to discharge Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in a criminal defamation case filed by Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, saying his plea had no merit.
The case pertains to alleged “misleading statements” made by Gehlot in connection with the Sanjeevani Credit Cooperative Society scam in Rajasthan.
On Gehlot’s application seeking discharge of Shekhawat citing his absence from the court twice without any proper reason, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of Rouse Avenue Court Harjeet Singh Jaspal said that the case would be pending for supply of documents and investigation. The hearing was fixed on the day in question.
“In those days, it was not necessary for the complainant to be present, especially considering that the complainant’s lawyer was present before the court,” he said.
He further said that he does not see any merit in such arguments given by the counsel for the accused.
“Ergo, in the light of the above discussion, the present application is dismissed,” he said.
Shekhawat had filed a defamation case against Gehlot in March this year, stating that a probe into the Sanjeevani case had been initiated but his name was not mentioned anywhere and under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code. There was a demand to prosecute Gehlot for criminal defamation. He also demanded appropriate financial compensation for the loss of his reputation.
After the budget review meeting at the state secretariat on February 21, Gehlot had said that the entire Shekhawat family, including parents and wife, was involved in the Sanjeevani scam.
He also welcomed the filing of a defamation case, saying, “At least on this pretext the case will move forward.”

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