SC dismisses Manish Sisodia's plea to quash defamation case filed by Assam CM Sarma
Assam CM Sarma filed the criminal defamation complaint against Sisodia in July this year in the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court of Kamrup district after Sisodia alleged unfair acquisition of PPE kits by the firm operated by Sarma's wife, Riniki Bhuya Sarma. Following the setback, Sisodia has withdrawn his plea to dismiss the defamation action.
The Supreme Court rejected the plea of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to dismiss the defamation case filed by Assam chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday, December 12, 2022.
During the hearing, "If you reduce the public debate to this level... you have to face the consequences," Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said to Manish Sisodia's counsel Abhishek Singhvi. "You should have tendered an unconditional apology earlier."
Earlier this year, in August, a Guwahati court summoned Sisodia to appear on September 29 after Himanta Biswa Sarma filed a criminal defamation case against him over allegations he made during a press conference linking Sarma's wife Riniki Bhuyan Sarma in a corruption case in the supply of personal protection equipment in 2020 when the state was short of PPE kits.
The news conference video is available on the Aam Aadmi Party's YouTube account with the caption, "Assam ke BJP CM ke bhrastachar ka yeh hai kacha chittha." During the first BJP-led state government in 2020, Sarma was the health and family welfare minister.
According to Singhvi, his client has never said that Sarma's wife has received the money. By calling it a donation, you 'created a virtue out of necessity,' Singhvi added.
Manish Sisodia withdrew his plea after being pulled up. Manish Sisodia had petitioned the Gauhati High Court for a stay of proceedings in the matter, pending before the Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kamrup (M), at Guwahati.
"Therefore, although the petitioner has not been able to show that the contents of his press conference were a replica of the contents of "The Wire" and "The Cross Current," the High Court said, "it is clear that the petitioner did not take care to cross-check facts before making remarks against the respondent no. 2 and his wife.."