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Digvijaya appears in court on Gadkari defamation suit

Digvijaya appears in court on Gadkari defamation suit

New Delhi: Congress leader Digvijaya Singh Saturday appeared before a Delhi court in connection with a defamation case filed by union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.

Earlier in the day, Digvijaya Singh did not appear before the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha and sought exemption for the day, which was opposed by Gadkari's counsel.

After hearing arguments from both sides, the court then issued a bailable warrant against the Congress leader and also sought Gadkari's personal appearance in court.

The Congress leader appeared before the court later in the day.

The court had taken a dim view of his absence, even as his lawyer moved an application seeking exemption from personal appearance.

The magistrate recalled her order and cancelled Digvijaya Singh's bailable warrant after he appeared before the court.

The court directed him to be present on the next date of hearing, Nov 10.

The magistrate also warned Gadkari of dismissing his plea if he also fails to appear before the court Nov 10.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Gadkari had in 2012 filed a defamation case against Digvijaya Singh, who had accused him of having business links with BJP parliamentarian Ajay Sancheti who allegedly pocketed a huge sum in the allocation of coal blocks, which the Supreme Court later cancelled.

It was also alleged in the complaint that Digvijaya Singh had accused Gadkari of pocketing Rs.490 crore in the allocation to Sancheti.

In his petition, Gadkari sought Digvijaya Singh's prosecution under sections 499 (defamation) and 500 (punishment for defamation) of the Indian Penal Code.

Gadkari, in his statement recorded in court, denied having any business ties with Sancheti and said Digvijaya Singh levelled "totally false and defamatory" allegations against him to "give the impression that I have been responsible for allocation of the coal mines" to Sancheti.

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