Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot has filed criminal and civil defamation suits against BJP MLA Vijender Gupta for making “scandalous allegations” in procurement of low-floor houses, and sought damages of Rs 5 crore from him, according to a statement issued on Thursday. The minister has also sought the removal of all defamatory content posted by Gupta against him on Twitter and Facebook.
Striking a defiant tone, BJP MLA Gupta said Gahlot’s defamation case is “an attempt to suppress the voice of truth”. “A civil suit and a criminal complaint were filed against Vijender Gupta after he intentionally defamed and tarnished the reputation of the transport minister for malafide purposes and to gain political mileage through it,” the statement issued from the minister’s office said.
In the criminal defamation suit, Gahlot has sought action against Gupta under IPC sections 499 and 501 for his “reckless remarks”. In the civil suit, he has urged the court to pass a decree of permanent injunction restraining Gupta from posting any defamatory or scandalous or factually incorrect tweets/posts on his Twitter account, Facebook account and any other social media profile, print and electronic media.
“It also seeks that Vijender Gupta be stopped from giving interviews, writing articles, blogs or by way of any other depiction against the plaintiff in respect of purchase of low-floor buses,” the statement said. Gahlot’s defamation suit comes after repeated claims by Gupta that there were irregularities in procurement of buses by the Delhi government.
Following Gupta’s allegations, a three-member committee was formed by Lieutenant General Anil Baijal to probe into the matter, in which Gahlot was eventually given a clean chit. The BJP MLA said he is not afraid of the “hollow threats” of the AAP government and determined to see that the “guilty be booked for looting public money”.
“The minister has gone into a panic mode and is making a last ditch attempt to silence the opposition for exposing his dark deeds, Gupta claimed.