HC to pronounce order in AAP Minister’s plea against BJP MLA

New Delhi, Aug 27 (PTI): The Delhi High Court Friday said it will pronounce ex-parte interim order on State Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot’s defamation plea against BJP MLA Vijender Gupta for his statements alleging irregularities in procurement of 1,000 low floor buses by the Delhi Transport Corporation.
None appear for the defendants. We will pass order in this, said Justice Asha Menon after hearing counsel for Gahlot.
Senior counsel Rajiv Nayar, appearing for Gehlot, said that Gupta, his political rival, has made unabated tweets doubting the integrity of the minister in relation to the purchase of the low floor buses, in spite of a clean-chit being given by a high-powered committee.
Delhi government floated a tender for buses. After due process, it was awarded to Tata (but) all sorts of allegations were made. A high-powered committee gave a report that everything was in order, Nayar submitted.
Despite the report, we have unabated tweets (calling) me to be a person of doubtful integrity, he added.
The court was informed that although the issue was discussed on the floor of the House and was answered by the Minister, Gupta continued to make mis-statements.
You are a responsible MLA.. (it was) raised on the floor of the House and I answered it. I beseech my lady to pass an interim order of protection, said the senior counsel.
In his civil defamation suit, Gahlot has sought Rs five crore damages from Gupta for allegedly making scandalous statements relating to irregularities in the procurement of low floor buses.
The plea also seeks the removal of the allegedly defamatory content from social media.
On July 12, Gupta had written to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal demanding a CBI inquiry into the alleged scam involving procurement of 1,000 low floor buses by the Delhi Transport Corporation.
A three-member committee that probed the matter has recommended scrapping the tender of the AMC (annual maintenance contract) of buses finding various “lapses”, he said.
There has been “irrefutable evidence of irregularities and violations in the AMC bid”, he had stated, alleging “criminal conspiracy and connivance” was responsible for it.

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