In a four-year-old defamation case, ex-UP Congress chief Ajay Lallu gets one-year jail term

Lallu was booked for making 'defamatory' remarks against Shrikant Sharma, who served as the energy minister during Yogi Adityanath's first term as chief minister.

Former UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu (File photo)
Former UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu (File photo)

NH Political Bureau

Former Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu has been sentenced to one-year imprisonment in a four-year-old defamation case by a UP court on Sunday for making defamatory statements against ex-UP minister Shrikant Sharma.

The court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate A K Srivastava also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on Lallu and said he would have to spend another 15 days in jail if he fails to deposit the fine.

In its order, the court refused to release Lallu on probation.

"Since Lallu is (former) state president of a national party and is in public life and as such it is more expected of him that he must observe patience in his conduct and language in public life. If Lallu is given the benefit of probation, it would send the wrong message to the common public", the court observed.

Sharma had filed a criminal complaint in the court in 2019 asking the court to summon and punish Lallu as he had made indecent allegations against him in public and it got media coverage.

Lallu had accused Shrikant of being involved in the Dewan Housing Finance Corp Limited (DHFL) scam. Shrikant Sharma scrapped all accusations and demanded an apology from Lallu.

Lallu was summoned and put on trial. Before filing the case in court, Sharma, a former Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister, had sent legal notice to Lallu seeking an apology but he had not tendered an apology.

The leader was not, however, arrested; he secured bail from the court. Meanwhile, lawyer K.K. Mishra, who is also a member of BJP's legal cell, said, "All allegations against Shrikant Sharma were baseless and politically motivated. The court's decision has proved this."

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