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Delhi court summons Somnath Bharti as accused in defamation plea by woman journalist

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A Delhi court has summoned AAP MLA Somnath Bharti as accused in a criminal defamation complaint filed by a woman journalist last year.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal asked Bharti to appear before the court on April 10 for allegedly hurling abuses at Ranjhana Dwivedi and calling her with objectionable names during a live television debate show.

"Allegations were prima facie defamatory and referred to Dwivedi making her an aggrieved person... There exists sufficient grounds to proceed against Bharti. Accordingly, Bharti is summoned for commission of offence of defamation," the court said.

The offence of defamation entails a maximum of two years in jail.

Dwivedi, in her complaint, has alleged that during a TV show held on November 20 last year she had asked certain questions of public interest and in response to them, Bharti had replied in a very "defamatory", "arrogant" and "contemptuous" manner using "abusive" language.

She has further alleged that he had called her an "agent of BJP" and made objectionable statement against her.

The AAP leader had joined the TV show over phone to discuss an attack on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The scribe had lodged FIR on November 21, 2018.

The legislator had later apologised to her in his tweet, saying that his words were not targeted towards her.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 27 2019. 16:55 IST