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Delhi court summons AAP MLA Durgesh Pathak in defamation case lodged by BJP councillor

ANI | Updated: Jan 19, 2023 23:34 IST

New Delhi [India], January 19 (ANI): Delhi's Rouse Avenue court on Thursday issued summons to AAP MLA Durgesh Pathak and AAP Municipal councillor Vikas Goel in a defamation complaint filed by a BJP councillor. It is alleged that these persons levelled false and defamatory allegations against BJP and its municipal councillor.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Vidhi Gupta Anand after taking cognizance issued a summons to Durgesh Pathak and Vikas Goel for the next date of hearing.
While issuing the summons the judge said, "Having considered the details of allegations made in the complaint, the statement of the complainant and witness as well as materials on which the Complainant placed reliance, this court takes Cognizance of the offence under section 499/500 IPC.
The court has directed Pathak and Goel to appear on January 23 at 2:30 pm.
The court said that in the case at hand, the proposed accused persons have allegedly held a press conference and attributed corruption in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to Bhartiya Janata Party Councillors.
Even though Complainant has not been specifically named in the statements made by the accused persons, as the averments have been made pertaining to an identifiable specific class of persons i.e. Bhartiya Janata Party Councilors, Complainant is very well covered within the ambit of section 199 Cr.P.C. as the person aggrieved by the offence as he is himself a councillor of the Bhartiya Janata Party, the court added.
Also, from the testimony of the Complainant's witness, the claim of the Complainant regarding the offence of defamation committed against him gets reinforced, the judge said.
BJP councillor Ravinder Kumar had filed a defamation Complaint against Pathak and AAP councillor Vikas Goel.
The complainant stated that they published defamatory statements which have lowered his moral and intellectual character in the eyes of third persons.
The complainant alleged that in order to gain mileage in the then-upcoming elections of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and in order to tarnish the image of the Bhartiya Janata Party and its councillors, the proposed Accused persons, started spreading rumours and making false and defamatory statements against BJP, its leaders and councillors.
It was stated that the alleged accused persons in conspiracy with each other held a Press Conference on November 1, 2020, on the issue of collection of property tax by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and levelled false and defamatory allegations against the Municipal Councilors of BJP.

Accused Durgesh Pathak had alleged that BJP had turned the Municipal Corporation of Delhi into a centre/factory of corruption because of which salaries of doctors, nurses, teachers and employees of MCD cannot be released for want of funds, the complainant stated.
The Accused Durgesh Pathak also alleged that the North Delhi Municipal Corporation identified 12 lakh properties for collection of property tax and has issued Universal Property Identification Code to them. If tax is collected from the said properties without any corruption then the same will be approximate Rs. 2100 Crores, however, data shows that property tax has been collected only from 4 lakh properties i.e. around Rs. 700 crores, the complainant submitted.
As per the Complainant, Accused Durgesh Pathak made a false imputation that the remaining approximate amount of Rs. 1400 Core has been illegally collected as property
tax from approximately 8 lakh houses and has been distributed amongst the councillors of BJP.
Further, it was stated that Durgesh Pathak alleged that every year approximately Rs. 1400 crore is usurped by BJP leaders and officers.
It was also alleged that Vikash Goel made false imputations that BJP Leaders through Property Tax Inspectors get notices issued on various properties and then summon the owners to their offices; allegedly thereafter negotiations are held with the owners and after taking money from them in cash notices are cancelled.
It was also submitted that the aforesaid allegations and imputations made by the proposed accused persons in their Press Conference were also published on November 2, 2020, in daily
It is stated that the press conference was streamed live on the web page of the Aam Aadmi Party and the complete video is still available on the official YouTube Channel of the Aam Aadmi Party.
The grievance of the Complainant arose on 03.11.2020 in the evening, when persons namely Rajiv Agarwal and Rakesh Kumar Gupta met him in his office and showed the newspaper and told him that they always thought that he and his party are righteous but after seeing the press conference and reading the newspapers they have no trust on him.
The Complainant submitted that the imputations made by the proposed accused persons are utter falsehoods and nothing but self-made propaganda to defame the Complainant and his party in order to win the then-upcoming corporation elections and are neither true nor were required to be made in the public good.
He also alleged that the proposed Accused persons with the dishonest intention to lower the moral and intellectual character of the Complainant and his party/colleagues in the eyes
of the general public have made defamatory statements which were widely published in print and electronic media resulting in the commission of the offence of defamation as covered under Section 500 of IPC. (ANI)