Shivraj, other BJP leaders get relief in defamation case

Bhopal: Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Madhya Pradesh BJP Chief VD Sharma, and former State Minister Bhupendra Singh have been granted exemption from appearing in person before a special court until June 7 in connection with a criminal defamation case.

The special court’s decision came during a hearing on the plea of the BJP leaders in response to a defamation suit filed against them by Congress’ Rajya Sabha member and senior Supreme Court advocate Vivek Tankha.

According to Shiv Kumar Shrivastava, counsel for the respondents, Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) Vishveshwari Mishra of the special court granted the exemption on Friday.

“In defamation cases, respondents typically have to attend court hearings in person. However, the BJP leaders requested exemption citing their involvement in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections,” explained Shrivastava.

Chouhan and Sharma are contesting as BJP candidates from the Vidisha and Khajuraho Lok Sabha seats, respectively. Madhya Pradesh is scheduled to hold elections in four phases between April 19 and May 13.

The Allegation

Congress Rajya Sabha MP Tankha alleges that the BJP leaders defamed him by falsely claiming his involvement in a Supreme Court case concerning Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota in panchayat elections in 2021.

Tankha, a former MP advocate general, stated that he neither participated in any court proceedings regarding OBC reservation nor filed any petition on the matter.

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