Bailable warrant against Cong's Surjewala in defamation suit
New Delhi, Oct 11: A metropolitan magistrate court here issued a bailable warrant against Congress national spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on Friday for not appearing for a defamation suit hearing despite being issued summons two times.
The criminal defamation suit under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was filed in August last year by the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank (ADCB), in which Union Home Minister Amit Shah is a director.
During the hearing on Friday, Surjewala''s lawyers filed an exemption plea claiming he could not appear as he was busy with the Haryana Assembly polls.
The Congress leader''s lawyers claimed that summons were issued by the court in the past but had not been served to him.
Taking strong exception to this claim, ADC Bank lawyer S V Raju urged the court to issue a bailable warrant saying Surjewala was deliberately not appearing for the hearing, adding that the latter did so despite his lawyers assuring court, in the last hearing, of his appearance.
Additional Metropolitan Magistrate N B Munshi rejected Surjewala''s exemption application and issued a bailable warrant against him.
Surjewala''s lawyer P S Champaneri''s plea to stay the execution of the order to enable them to approach the high court was rejected.
The next hearing was fixed for December 18.
The defamation suit was filed by the ADC Bank after Surjewala, in a press statement in June last year, alleged it was involved in a "scam" of swapping scrapped notes of Rs 745.58 crore with a valid currency within five days of demonetisation in 2016.
This defamation suit is separate from the one in which Rahul Gandhi has been made an accused for making the same allegation through a tweet.
The next hearing of the case involving Gandhi will be on December 7.