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Delhi court exempts Bajrang Punia from personal appearance for a day in criminal defamation case

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New Delhi, Sep 6 (IANS) A Delhi court on Wednesday exempted wrestler Bajrang Punia from personal appearance for a day in a criminal defamation complaint filed against him by sports coach Naresh Dahiya.

Dahiya has alleged that Punia, in company of other wrestlers/persons, made defamatory remarks against him in a press conference, held on May 10 at Jantar Mantar during the protest by female wrestlers against alleged sexual harassment by BJP MP and former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

As Punia’s counsel sought relief stating medical grounds, Metropolitan Magistrate Yashdeep Chahal of Patiala House Courts granted it.

Punia’s lawyer claimed that his client was not able to appear before the court for the day as he is suffering from fever.

The court then adjourned the matter for September 14.

On August 3, Chahal had summoned Punia on Wednesday in the matter, holding that he is of the prima facie view that all the ingredients of defamation were made out.

During the hearing, he 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,” the magistrate had said.

spr/vd

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