Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma filed the defamation suit against Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia in July this year
Assam court summons Manish Sisodia in defemation case filed by Himanta Sarma
A court in Assam’s Kamrup district has issued summons to Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia in connection with a criminal defamation case filed against him by Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
“Chief judicial magistrate M Sarma issued an order directing Sisodia to appear in person on September 29. Though the court order was issued on August 19, copy of it was available on Tuesday,” said Sarma’s counsel, Debajit Saikia.
In July, Sarma filed the defamation suit under Sections 499, 500 and 501 of Indian Penal Code against Sisodia for statements alleging malpractice by the former while giving a contract for supply of PPE kits.
At a press conference in Delhi on June 4, Sisodia alleged that Sarma, when he was a health minister in 2020, had given urgent contract to his wife’s firm for supply of PPE kits at rates higher than the market price.
Sisodia alleged that during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Sarma allegedly gave urgent supply orders of PPE kits to firms in which his wife and son were partners at the rate of ₹990 per piece while the state government bought those kits from other companies at ₹600 per piece.
The court has conducted a preliminary inquiry into the case and issued the summons to Sisodia after examining two witnesses on August 19. Sarma deposed before the court on August 5,” Saikia said.
Besides the criminal defamation suit, Sarma’s wife Riniki Bhuyan Sarma filed a civil defamation suit in June worth ₹100 crore against Sisodia in the court of civil judge number 1 at Kamrup Metropolitan district.
Refuting the allegations made in a series of reports by The Wire, Riniki Sarma issued a statement in June denying any wrong doing.
She said that in the first week of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, not a single PPE kit was available in Assam. And taking cognizance of it, she reached out to a business acquaintance and delivered around 1,500 PPE kits to NHM-Assam “with lot of effort”.
“I wrote to NHM to treat the same as part of my corporate social responsibility (CSR). I did not take a single penny out of this supply. I have always been transparent in my belief of giving back to society irrespective of my husband’s political standing,” she added.