Law & Judiciary

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

    The Hawk
    September14/ 2023
    Last Updated:

    New Delhi: A Delhi court on Thursday 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.

    Punia’s counsel had moved an application seeking exemption from personal appearance claiming that the wrestler went to Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday ahead of the upcoming Asian Games and its practice sessions.

    Metropolitan Magistrate Yashdeep Chahal of Patiala House Courts granted the request noting the submission, and listed the matter for hearing next on October 17.

    Last week, Punia’s counsel had sought relief from personal appearance for a day stating medical grounds, and the court had granted it as well.

    The lawyer had claimed that Punia was not able to appear before the court for the day as he is suffering from fever.

    The court had then adjourned the matter for Thursday.

    On August 3, Chahal had summoned Punia on September 6 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.