The Delhi High Court Thursday stayed trial court proceedings in Delhi minister and AAP leader Satyendra Jain’s criminal defamation case against Shiromani Akali Dal leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa.
Justice Mukta Gupta issued notice and sought response from Mr Sirsa on Mr Jain’s plea challenging a trial court order rejecting his application to cure the defects in a legal document pertaining to his defamation complaint.
The high court also issued notice to the police and the two other accused editor and publisher of a media house- in the defamation case and posted the matter for hearing on September 13.
In his petition, Mr Jain informed that he filed a defective certificate under Section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, which was not in consonance with the guidelines framed, and thus sought the trial court’s permission to file a corrected certificate to authenticate the electronic document pertaining to the allegedly defamatory statement in question.
“Trial Court erroneously passed the impugned order dated March 25, 2021 on the finding that the same (the application) is an attempt on part of the Petitioner (Jain) to fill in the lacuna of the case which cannot be allowed under Section 311 of CrPC,” the petition said.
Senior advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for Mr Jain, submitted that any defect in a Section 65B certificate was curable in nature and no prejudice would be caused to Sirsa if the “complainant could be recalled to rectify” it.
The plea, filed through advocates Gautam Dhamija and Vaibhav Yadav, contended that the deficiency in the certificate could not be termed as a ”lacuna” as the same was only an oversight committed during the trial.
The proceedings in the matter are presently at the stage of clarifications/orders/judgment, the petition said.
Mr Jain had filed a criminal defamation complaint against Mr Sirsa and two others for allegedly defaming him by levelling graft charges against him.
The AAP MLA said that Mr Sirsa made libellous statements by levelling corruption allegations against him on the basis of “hearsay” without any proof or evidence supporting it.
A special court in July 2019 had issued notice on the complaint.
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