- Apprentice Lawyer
The Delhi High Court today dismissed petition filed by BJP leader Manoj Tiwari challenging the order summoning him in the criminal defamation case by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister, Manish Sisodia (Manoj Kumar Tiwari vs Manish Sisodia & Ors).
Challenge by BJP's Vijender Gupa was also dismissed by the court.
Order was pronounced by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Anu Malhotra.
Sisodia had filed a defamation complaint against Tiwari and other BJP leaders including Vijender Gupta for alleging that he indulged in corrupt practices in relation to the construction of Delhi government school classrooms. Subsequently, summons were issued by a Special MP/MLA Court to Tiwari, Gupta and others.
Challenging the summons and subsequent proceedings, Tiwari argued before the court that the entire case was based on legally inadmissible evidence such as newspaper reports. It was also said that the evidence in the form of CD etc was filed without the requisite compliance of the parameters of Section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
Sisodia, on the other hand, submitted that this was not the stage to test the admissibility of evidence.
It was said that the value of Sisodia's evidence would be seen by the court concerned at time of the trial, when witnesses, including editors of the media houses, would be summoned before it.
The court opined that whether the import of the press conference held by Tiwari and the tweet of Gupta were for the purpose of any public good were aspects which could only be determined through their defence at the stage of trial.
In view of Supreme Court order in Arjun Panditrao Khotkar bs Kailash Khushanrao Gorantyal & Ors, the court further said that the Section 65-B did not speak of the stage at which such certificate must be furnished and thus the contents of the CD, pen drive etc would be admissible.
The petitions were ultimately dismissed.
Senior Advocate Pinky Anand appeared for Manoj Tiwari. Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa appeared for Sisodia.
Senior Advocate Sonia Mathur appeared for Vijender Gupta.
Read the Order: