New Delhi: A Delhi court on Wednesday posted the next hearing of a defamation case filed by Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat against Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot for September 14. The case pertains to alleged “misleading statements” reportedly made by Gehlot in connection with the Sanjivani Credit Cooperative Society scam.
Both Gehlot and Shekhawat appeared virtually before the court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Harjeet Singh Jaspal of the Rouse Avenue Court on Wednesday.
Noting that Gehlot has received all the documents demanded by him in the matter, ACMM Jaspal said: “It is informed on behalf of the complainant that the documents, in their entirety, have already been sent through e-mail, including coloured copies.
“The counsel for the accused has acknowledged the receipt of e-mail. It is also acknowledged that the certified copies have also been received through the Copying Agency (of court). Since the documents are now complete, let the matter be put for arguments on notice/further proceedings on September 14.”
Earlier, the court had directed the police to investigate Shekhawat’s complaint.
Jaspal had said that the investigation should be such that the three main questions — whether complainant Shekhawat was addressed as “an accused” in the Sanjivani scam by the accused Gehlot, whether Gehlot stated that the allegations against Shekhawat stand proved in the Sanjivani scam, and whether Shekhawat or his family members have been arrayed as “an accused” in the investigation of the scam — are answered.
Shekhawat had filed the defamation case against Gehlot in March this year, stating that an investigation was initiated into the Sanjivani case but his name was not mentioned anywhere, and demanded the prosecution of Gehlot for criminal defamation under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
He also demanded appropriate financial compensation for the loss of his reputation.
Gehlot had said after a budget review meeting at the state secretariat on February 21 that the entire Shekhawat family, including his parents and wife, were involved in the Sanjeevani scam.
Gehloit had also welcomed the filing of the defamation case, saying: “At least the case will move forward on this pretext.”
Earlier, a war of words between Gehlot and Shekhawat had intensified over the Sanjivani scam with the Rajasthan Chief Minister openly calling the Union minister “a culprit like the others”.
“The Union minister is trying to mislead the public on the Sanjivani scam. In the investigation of the Special Operation Group (SOG), the crime has been proved against him under the same sections as the other arrested accused.”
Shekhawat had said that Gehlot terming him as an “accused” was akin to his “political assassination to settle scores”.
“The SOG presented three charge sheets, but there is neither mine nor my family’s name in them. Still, the Chief Minister called me an accused,” he had said.