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Bajrang Punia granted bail by Delhi court in criminal defamation case

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Bajrang Punia granted bail by Delhi court in criminal defamation case
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New Delhi: Wrestler Bajrang Punia was granted bail by a Delhi court on Thursday in response to a criminal defamation complaint brought by sports coach Naresh Dahiya against him.

Dahiya has claimed that Punia, in the company of other wrestlers and individuals, made derogatory remarks about him at a press conference on May 10 at Jantar Mantar during a protest which was organised by female wrestlers in response to allegations of sexual harassment by BJP MP and former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

On August 3, Metropolitan Magistrate Yashdeep Chahal of Patiala House Courts had summoned Punia in the matter, holding that he is of the prima facie view that all the ingredients of defamation were made out.

Dahiya has alleged that Punia had said that the former did not have any credibility to oppose the agitation (wrestlers' protest) since he himself was facing a rape case.

Punia’s counsel had earlier moved exemption from appearance application thrice on different grounds saying that the wrestler went to Kyrgyzstan ahead of the Asian Games and its practice sessions.

Once it sought exemption stating medical grounds, and the court had granted it as well.

On Thursday, Punia appeared before the court and was granted bail. Now the matter will be taken up next on March 5, 2024.

During the hearing earlier, the magistrate had said that at the stage of summoning, it was fairly settled that the court was not required to go into a comparative analysis of the possible defence that may be taken by the accused.

"On a consideration of the complaint, supporting documents and pre-summoning evidence, I am of the prima facie view that all the ingredients of defamation are made out," the magistrate had said. He had said that the statement made in the press conference appears to be a result of malicious intent and not made in good faith.

"In view of the same, let the accused, namely, Bajrang Punia be summoned for the commission of offence punishable under Section 499 read with Section 500 (both dealing with criminal defamation) of the IPC."


With inputs from IANS

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