Plea to call PM, Sonia witnesses in case against HM dismissed

NEW DELHI, Nov 20:  A Delhi court has dismissed a plea to summon Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi as witnesses in a complaint case filed against Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde for his alleged “Hindu terror” remarks made in Jaipur, saying “no fruitful purpose” will be served by calling any witnesses.

Additional Sessions Judge Shail Jain rejected the appeal of an RTI activist and upheld the order of a trial court which had also refused to summon the witnesses and also imposed a cost of Rs 1,000 on the complainant.

The sessions court said if the complainant has sufficient material to prove that defamatory speech was made by Shinde, there was no need for summoning any other witnesses.

“I am of the opinion that law requires, at the stage of pre-summoning evidence, that the complainant has to prove prima facie requirement of summoning the accused.

“If it is the case of the revisionist that he has with him sufficient material that portrays and proves that defamatory speech was made by the accused and the same was published in print media and electronic media, copies of which are available with him, in my opinion, there is no necessity for summoning any other witness to prove said speeches, hence, I am of the opinion that no fruitful purpose will be served by summoning any witnesses, as per application moved by the complainant,” the judge said.

The plea had also sought to call senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar and Chandrabhan of Rajasthan Pradesh Congress as witnesses.

The court, however, termed the application “totally frivolous” and “part of personal vendetta as reflected in the utterings of the complainant himself in the court whereby he has shown his disregard and angst towards the political system of the country and especially the present government.”

The court said the magistrate had rightly rejected the application of the complainant and there was infirmity in it.

“However, by this order, no opinion is being expressed on the merits of the complaint as filed or allegations levelled by the revisionist against the trial court,” it said.

The court, however, allowed the prayer of the complainant to issue a direction to the magistrate to refrain from passing any personal comment against him.

The magisterial court had on September 2, while dismissing the plea for summoning witnesses, had termed the application “totally frivolous” and “part of personal vendetta as reflected in the utterings of the complainant himself in the court whereby he has shown his disregard and angst towards the political system of the country and especially the present government.”

The complainant had earlier sought registration of an FIR against Shinde for his alleged comments during the AICC meet in Jaipur in January.

The court, however, had dismissed the plea for lodging of the FIR but allowed the complainant to lead evidence in support of his allegations in the private complaint.

Shinde had at the AICC meet on January 20 said “reports have come during investigation that BJP and RSS conduct terror training camps to spread terrorism…Bombs were planted in Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and also a blast was carried out in Malegaon.” (PTI)

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