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Delhi Court allows Wrestler Bajrang Punia's exemption plea in defamation case
New Delhi: The Patiala House Court of Delhi on Thursday allowed the exemption application moved the Wrestler Bajrang Punia through his lawyer stating that Punia on September 13, 2023, went to the Kyrgyzstan for upcoming Asian Games and its practice sessions.
The Court had issued a summons to him in a defamation case.
The Metropolitan Magistrate Yashdeep Chahal noted the submission, exempted Bajrang Punia's personal appearance and fixed the matter for October 17, 2023, for the next hearing and appearance of the wrestler in the matter.
The Patiala House on August 3, 2023, issued a summons to Olympic medalist wrestler Bajrang Punia in a defamation case filed by Naresh Dahiya, a Wrestling coach.
During the hearing on Thursday, Bajrang Punia's lawyer also represented the Sports Authority of India (SAI) letter stating that wrestler Bajrang Punia along with his coach Sujeet Maan had been sent for a training camp in Kyrgyzstan on September 13, 2023, for preparation of the upcoming Asian Games.
The wrestling events at the Aslan Games will begin on 4th October and end on 7th October 2023.
On the last date of the hearing, Bajrang Punia also did not appear before the couŕt on health grounds. The court had then allowed his exemption for that day only.
Complainant/Coach Naresh Dahiya, through a criminal defamation complaint, stated that during the protest at Jantar Mantar on May 10, 2023, Bajrang Punia made defamatory remarks against him in a press conference.
Court earlier noted that the relevant extracts reveal that the accused Bajrang Punia had made a reference to a rape case, ongoing against the complainant (Naresh Dahiya) in Tis Hazari Court.
The accused referred to the complainant by name and stated that the complainant has no credibility to oppose the protest as he was himself facing a rape case.
But during the Court witness recording, the complainant categorically deposed that he was acquitted in the said rape case in 2019 itself and the said fact was well known to the accused as well, who is a part of the same fraternity.
Metropolitan Magistrate Yashdeep Chahal while issuing summons for Bajrang Punia stated that on a consideration of the complaint, supporting documents and presummoning evidence, I am of the prima facie view that all the ingredients of defamation are made out.
It appears that the statement made in the press conference was a result of malicious intent and was not made in good faith. In view of the same, let the accused, namely, Bajrang Punia be summoned for the commission of an offence punishable under Section 499 read with Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code.
However Court clarified that at the stage of summoning, it is fairly settled that the Court is not required to go into a comparative analysis of the possible defence that may be taken by the accused.
Advocates Sudhir Nagar, Ashish Tanwar, Rajesh Rexwal and Ravinder Singh appeared for complainant Naresh Dahiya submitted that the fact of acquittal was well known and a malicious attack was made by the accused to tarnish the reputation as well as credibility of the complainant for the sole reason of dissuading him from supporting the then WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh in the protest.