New Delhi :
The Hon’ble Court of ACMM Sh. Dharmender Singh, Rouse Avenue, on Thursday, issued Summons to BJP Leaders- Adesh Gupta (BJP Delhi President), Ramvir Singh Bidhuri (BJP MLA Badarpur), Vijendra Gupta (BJP MLA Rohini) and Harish Khurana (BJP Delhi Media Relations) for offences of defamation and conspiracy. Significantly, a criminal defamation complaint was filed by Delhi Jal Board along with its Vice Chairman Sh. Raghav Chadha through Advocate Prashant Manchanda against the accused persons for defaming the state institution- Delhi Jal Board as well as its Vice Chairman- Sh. Raghav Chadha by making/ writing/ publishing false and defamatory statements/ allegations via press conferences, hoardings, print media, social media, newspaper articles and advertisements.
They had maliciously and baselessly alleged a scam to the tune of rupees 26,000 crores allegedly committed within the institution and derided the institution by repeatedly referring to it as ‘Dalali Jal Board’ and levelled false and frivolous allegations of corruption against Sh. Raghav Chadha and thereby also defaming him distinctively with the malicious intent of deriding and defaming his conduct in managing the functions and operations at the board as vice chairman and lowering his image as well as the Delhi Jal Board in the eyes of the public by these aforementioned BJP leaders.
The Criminal Defamation Complaint filed by the Delhi Jal board the Board as well as Sh. Raghav Chadha stated that ‘in furtherance of their common intention, these BJP leaders have been exhorting all efforts to obfuscate the efficient administration and functioning of the incumbent government of NCT of Delhi in pursuance of which they have intentionally orchestrated a vilification and smear campaign pivoted on utterly misleading, motivated and wild insinuations and imputations by peddling lies and disseminating false propaganda executed with a intention, knowledge and reason to believe that the same would spitefully corrode and sabotage the purity, sanctity and goodwill of the Complainants, both jointly and individually.’
It was stated by Sh. Raghav Chadha in his deposition that being the MLA from Rajinder Nagar Constituency of Delhi and the youngest spokesperson for Aam Aadmi Party as well as holding crucial posts such as Chairman of legislative Committees, has accrued him a positive reputation which got tarnished by the baseless allegations widely peddled by the accused persons. The contentions of the complainants were also supported by witnesses who were examined by the Court in the process of recording their statements. Consequently, after taking into account the statements made by the witnesses and complainants, the Ld. ACMM Sh. Dharmender Singh was pleased to take into consideration the view that, ‘in the present case there are sufficient grounds for proceedings against respondents.
In view of allegations made in complaint, testimonies of CW1 to CW4 and material brought on record by them this court is prima facie satisfied that there are sufficient grounds for summoning of all respondents as accused qua offence punishable u/s 500 r/w Sec.34 IPC.’ Pertinently, submissions were made by Adv. Prashant Manchanda, special counsel appearing on behalf of Delhi Jal Board that the Delhi Jal Board being a juridical person can also file a complaint for defamation by virtue of relevant provision of law as well as judgments of the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Pursuant to this, the Hon’ble Court accepted the said submission and vide its order stated that Delhi Jal Board being a juridical person is an identifiable body and it is clear that it can file complaint for defamation.
As per the submissions made by the counsel appearing for the Delhi Jal Board as well as Sh. Raghav Chadha, the flourishing and effective administration of Delhi Jal board through operations carried out by Sh. Chadha ensuring the uninterrupted access to clean water supply to the beneficiaries as well undertaking other projects and important functions of the Board in his capacity as the vice- chairperson of the Board has prompted Adesh Gupta along with other BJP political leaders to intentionally hinder and obstruct him in discharge of his official obligations through levelling false and malicious and defamatory allegation by casting unwarranted aspersions on the Aam Aadmi Party and in its manner of administration which inter alia has also had extremely adverse impact on the staff members of the Board as well.
Significantly, the Complaint also states that, ’seemingly, due to politically motivated and mala fide reasons, these mischievous and absolutely false and baseless allegations are systematically levelled in a concerted manner, indicating a structured conspiracy fomented by these Respondents/ Accused persons to gain political mileage including in the upcoming MCD elections. Convoluted misinformation has been spread to gain scandalizing impact with the intent to be seen and read widely so as to provoke distrust in the ability of the Board and its members in discharging their duties. The premeditated and methodical manner in which the misinformation and false allegations are projected in the public domain through various sources clearly shows the apparent conspiracy to paint patently incorrect picture of Delhi Jal Board in the eyes of not only in general public but also in the eyes of the other statutory institutions, neighbouring states and its organisations thereby causing irreparable harm to its reputation and stature as well has potential adverse effect in diplomatic relationships and indispensable liaisons required to be carried out from time to time.’
Therefore, in the event of brazen and unabated defilement of the repute and status, Both the DJB and Sh. Chadha, though in different capacities, had approached the court for the preservation of their esteem and sanctity of the state institution as well as the office of Sh. Chadha, which has been blatantly desecrated by these BJP leaders in a concerted designed manner by falsely unfurling unwarranted aspersions with a view to irreversibly sabotage and tarnish their reputation by flinging dirt on the immaculate ways of operation of the Board and its crucial members.