Wrestler Bajrang Punia granted one-day exemption in defamation case
Bajrang Punia's defamation case takes a break as the wrestler is granted a day off on medical grounds
A Delhi court on 6 September exempted wrestler Bajrang Punia from personal appearance for a day in a criminal defamation complaint filed against him by wrestling coach Naresh Dahiya.
Dahiya has alleged that Punia, in the company of other wrestlers/ individuals, made defamatory remarks against him regarding Dahiya's alleged sexual misconduct at a press conference held on 10 May at Delhi's Jantar Mantar during a protest by female wrestlers against alleged sexual harassment by BJP MP and former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
As Punia’s counsel sought relief stating medical grounds, metropolitan magistrate Yashdeep Chahal of Patiala House courts granted it. Counsel claimed that his client was unable to appear before the court for the day as he is suffering from fever. The court then adjourned the matter until 14 September.
Earlier, Dahiya had told media outlets that Punia's remarks had caused several trainees to withdraw from his wrestling academy in Delhi.
Chahal had earlier summoned Punia in the matter, holding that he is of the prima facie view that all the ingredients of defamation were made out.
During the hearing, he had said that at the stage of summoning, it was fairly settled that the court was not required to go into a comparative analysis of the possible defence that may be taken by the accused.
"On a consideration of the complaint, supporting documents and pre-summoning evidence, I am of the prima facie view that all the ingredients of defamation are made out," the magistrate had said.
He had said that the statement made in the press conference appears to be a result of malicious intent and not made in good faith.
"In view of the same, let the accused, namely, Bajrang Punia be summoned for the commission of offence punishable under Section 499 read with Section 500 (both dealing with criminal defamation) of the IPC," the magistrate had said.