Court exempts Sheila Dikshit from personal appearance for a day

Sheila Dikshit

A Delhi court today allowed Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's application for personal exemption but asked her to appear before it on February 18, 2013 in a defamation case filed by her against city BJP chief Vijender Gupta.

Metropolitan Magistrate Saumya Chauhan exempted the Chief Minister from appearing in person before the court, saying "the application for exemption is only allowed for today and the complainant will need to appear on the next date of hearing, which is February 18, 2013".

Seeking exemption from personal appearance for Dikshit, her counsel Gajender Kumar said, "Due to a bereavement in the family in Mumbai, she could not appear before the court."

He further said, "The Chief Minister left for Mumbai yesterday and is coming back to Delhi by today evening. Hence, owing to such unfortunate incident in the close family she is unable to attend this court today and her non-appearance is unintentional."

However, Gupta's counsels, Ajay Burman and Ajay Digpaul opposed Dikshit's application saying "complainant has not mentioned the name of the relative who passed away, which seems she is avoiding the court proceedings."

During the proceedings, Gupta submitted that he is being humiliated by being asked to appear on each date of hearing, whereas the Chief Minister has not appeared since recording of her evidence in the case on May 30.

He also said, "even though the court has passed strict order on last date, she fails to appear."

On October 12, the court had directed Dikshit to appear before it on the next date of hearing, November 9, else the case will be dismissed.

Dikshit had filed the criminal defamation case against Gupta alleging that the BJP leader used "uncivilised" language against her before the April 15 MCD polls.

The court, meanwhile, reserved its order for November 26, on the application moved by Gupta's counsel seeking to modify the court's August 31 order which had described the lawyers as "crowd".

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