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Manish Sisodia Summoned by Assam Court in Defamation Case Filed By Himanta Biswa Sarma

The Chief Judicial Magistrate of Kamrup, Monmee Sarma, issued the summons to Sisodia for allegedly making defamatory statements against Sarma.

Guwahati: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia was on August 23 summoned by a court in Assam to appear in person before it on September 29 in a criminal defamation case filed by the northeastern state’s Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

The Chief Judicial Magistrate of Kamrup, Monmee Sarma, issued the summons to Sisodia for allegedly making defamatory statements against Sarma.

Sisodia, referring to media reports at a press conference in New Delhi on June 4, had said that while the Assam government procured PPE kits for Rs 600 a piece from other companies, Sarma gave urgent supply orders to the firms of his wife and son’s business partners for Rs 990 a piece.

Riniki Bhuyan Sarma, the wife of the Assam chief minister, had on June 21 filed a Rs 100-crore defamation case against the Delhi deputy CM, who had alleged corruption in giving PPE supply contracts at above market rates.

The chief minister had on August 5 recorded his statement before the court regarding his case against Sisodia.

Also Read: Manish Sisodia Claims BJP Offered to Drop Cases Against Him If He Joins Party

On June 1, two digital media organisations — New Delhi-based ‘The Wire’ and Guwahati-based ‘The Crosscurrent’ — in a joint investigative report claimed that the Assam government had placed four COVID-19 related emergency medical supply orders, most likely without following proper process.

Citing a series of Right to Information replies, the medial portals claimed that all the four orders, placed between March 18 and March 23 of 2020, were bagged by three firms owned by Bhuyan Sarma and the family’s business associate Ghanshyam Dhanuka.

She later uploaded a statement on her Twitter account, just hours after the report was published, and dismissed any wrongdoing in supplying the PPE kits to the NHM, claiming that she did not take a “single penny” for the kits.

The present Assam government and Sarma have separately denied all charges that the chief minister’s family was involved in the alleged malpractices and termed the allegations by the two digital media as “false, imaginary, malicious and of vested interests”.

The present Assam chief minister was the health minister in 2020 during the first BJP-led state government.

Opposition parties — Congress, CPI, CPI(M), CPI(ML) Liberation, RCPI, TMC, Raijor Dal, Assam Jatiya Parishad and Anchalik Gana Morcha — have demanded a CBI probe into the alleged corruption in giving contracts to Sarma’s wife and family business friend to supply PPE kits above market rates.

(PTI)