Two lawyers file defamation case against Punjab minster for ‘blackmailers’ comment

Two Amritsar-based lawyers on Monday filed defamation cases against Punjab cabinet minister Anil Joshi in the court of Amritsar Chief Judicial Magistrate for calling them "blackmailers who do not get any cases to fight in court".

On January 30, demanding the registration of a case against Joshi, his councillor brother Rajesh Joshi and six other relatives, lawyers Vaneet Mahajan and Sandeep Gorsi had accused the minister of getting voter identity cards made for said family members at two places — in Amritsar and Tarn Taran — to benefit himself during the Assembly polls in Amritsar and his brother in the Tarn Taran municipal polls.

Following this, Joshi had said: "These lawyers are blackmailers. They do not get any cases to fight in court. None of my relatives are named in the voter list of two different places..."

While the defamation complaints were filed on Saturday, the court will hear the cases on February 6. Speaking to mediapersons, the lawyers alleged that as fallout of Joshi's comment, they were defamed and maligned in public.

Gorsi's complaint alleged: "A new client had paid Rs 50,000 as counsel fee to the complainant for filing his case but when he read this news, he asked the complainant to return the fee." In his complaint, Mahajan has also alleged that he has lost a client following the episode.

When contacted, Joshi said: "I will answer in court when summoned. It is not I who has defamed them, but it is they who are defaming me by holding press conference after press conference against me. But I am not going to file any defamation case against them."

"I am answerable to the court of people who have elected me and they know who is right and who is wrong. People know who is defaming whom. I have not committed any wrong nor violated any law. I will present my side in court if I am summoned," he added.

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