A Delhi court has taken cognisance of a criminal defamation case against Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil by a state-run company over his statement alleging scam in the procurement of LED bulbs for government use. Metropolitan Magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria took note of the complaint filed by Saurabh Kumar, Managing Director of Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) which is a joint venture of PSUs of the Power Ministry. The court fixed the matter for pre-summoning evidence on July 15.
If convicted, Gohil may face a maximum jail term for two years. The application moved through advocate Manik Dogra claimed that Gohil's statements were "false and malicious propaganda" which were made "for gaining political mileage". Gohil in his statement of March 27 had alleged that the company had procured the LED bulbs under the Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) scheme of the government, without transparency and in violation of the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court and the Vigilance Commission. The EESL had in a statement then refuted the allegations made by Gohil. EESL was incorporated as a joint venture of 4 PSUs -- the National Thermal Power Corporation, the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd, the Rural Electrification Corporation and the Power Finance Corporation Ltd. The national LED lighting programme, inaugurated in January 5, 2015, was designed to reduce energy consumption in the lighting sector and promote LED based efficient lighting products.