Nitin Gadkari slaps defamation case on Digvijay Singh over BJP's Ajai Sancheti link

Nitin Gadkari

BJP President Nitin Gadkari today slapped a criminal defamation case against Congress leader Digvijay Singh for accusing him of having business links with his party MP Ajay Sancheti who allegedly pocketed Rs 500 crore in coal block allocation.

Singh had recently made statements that Sancheti was Gadkari's business partner and had earned a huge profit of around Rs 500 crore in coal block allocation, senior advocate Pinky Anand, appearing for BJP leader, told Metropolitan Magistrate Sudesh Kumar.

Denying that Gadkari has any "direct or indirect" business relations with Sancheti, Anand said Singh's statement, which was widely reported by the media, had the "clear intention to malign the reputation of the complainant."

After the brief submission advanced by Gadkari's counsel, the court decided to record the statement of the BJP president who was also present during the hearing.

The magistrate asked the media to vacate the court room before he started recording Gadkari's statement.

During the hearing, Gadkari's counsel told the court that they had sent a legal notice to Singh on September 14 but the Congress leader had not replied to it.

During recording of his statement, Gadkari told the court that said Singh levelled "totally false and defamatory" allegations against him to "give the impression that I have been responsible for allocation of coal mines" to Sancheti.

The BJP president denied having any business ties with Sancheti saying "he (Singh) has stated that I have business relations with Ajay Sancheti, MP, and to give the impression that I have been responsible for allocation of coal mines to him, which is totally wrong."

"These statements are totally false and I have no business relation or business associations, direct or indirect, with Ajay Sancheti. I am not responsible for any coal allocation to anybody," he said.

The 55-year-old BJP leader, in his complaint, said the Congress-led UPA government is facing a lot of heat on account of its irregularities, pointed out by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), in coal blocks allocation and Singh made baseless allegations against him to divert attention.

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