Big blow to Sanjay Singh, court rejects his application seeking exemption from personal appearance in criminal defamation case

Ludhiana, May 5 – In a big blow to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Leader Sanjay Singh, a local court rejected his application seeking exemption from personal appearance in a criminal defamation suit filed against him by former Punjab minister Bikram Majithia and asked him to appear before it on June 7.

Chief judicial magistrate first class Jagjeet Singh while passing this order yesterday, a copy of which was obtained today, has also passed severe strictures against Sanjay Singh, according to Mr Majithia’s counsel D S Sobti. The court has also rubbished all the excuses submitted by the AAP leader to exempt himself from personal appearance in the case.

Sanjay had in his application seeking exemption from personal appearance maintained that he was a busy politician who was incharge of the party’s Parliamentary Affairs Committee (PAC) besides being incharge of the State units of Punjab, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir. He had also claimed that he had been granted bail in the case and that the complainant Bikram Majithia had also been granted exemption from personal appearance.

The court while rejecting the AAP leader’s application, reminded him that he was on a different footing as accused in the case vis a vis Mr Majithia who was the complainant. It also brought on record that Sanjay had been evading appearance by filing exemption applications on each and every hearing. It said the AAP leader had appeared in court on only two occasions – once when he was granted bail and the second time when the notice of accusation was served on him.

Keeping all these factors in mind, the Judicial magistrate noted that Sanjay Singh was not entitled for discretionary relief permanently in the case. The judge said having political responsibility of several States on behalf of the party did not entitle the AAP leader to seek blanket exemption from the court. Stating that no legal right vested in the accused to seek permanent exemption in the case, the court ordered Sanjay to be present in the court on June 7.

The court meanwhile also disposed off an application filed for day to day hearing in the case by the complaintant. Mr Majithia had in his application maintained that the AAP leader was continuing to defame him unabatedly after getting bail in the case. He also maintained that an expeditious trial would be in the interest of the case and that he felt the accused would also welcome the application. Surprisingly Sanjay Singh opposed the application. The court while ruling that expeditious justice was required to be given to the parties, said it could not be done at the cost of old  litigation pending before it.

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