Alakh Alok Srivastav took to Twitter to announce that the Delhi High Court had dismissed as withdrawn the petition seeking to quash the defamation proceedings. He also tweeted that a limited stay of 4 weeks on trial has been granted to Swati Chaturvedi to approach a lower court and file the petition to quash proceedings.
Swati Chaturvedi’s Petition seeking quashing of Defamation Case initiated by @TajinderBagga has been DISMISSED as withdrawn by Delhi High Court today. Limited stay of 4 weeks on Trial has been granted to Swati to approach Lower Court. @advmonikaarora Ji & I appeared for Bagga Ji.
— Alakh Alok Srivastav (@advocate_alakh) December 4, 2018
Speaking to OpIndia, Mr Srivastav said that they cited an old judgement by the Court where had dismissed a similar petition to quash by Rajdeep Sardesai. In fact, even the Supreme Court had dismissed the petition.
He asserted that this is a subject matter of trial and the defamation proceedings should go on. The High Court, Srivastav said, was largely convinced with his arguments.
The lawyers representing Swati Chaturvedi cited two parts of 1 tweet by Swati after Tajinder Bagga was appointed as the BJP spokesperson on 14th March 2017. The first part of the tweet was where Swati Chaturvedi had alleged that BJP had appointed a person as a spokesperson who had beaten Prashant Bhushan up. To prove the stand, they presented a few tweets by Tajinder Bagga. Bagga’s lawyers contesting that those tweets were not authentic.
Then, Srivastav says, he questioned the second part of the tweet by Swati Chaturvedi where she had alleged that Tajinder had been arrested for sexual harassment. In response, Chaturvedi’s lawyers maintained that it was an authentic claim and tried to prove their point by reading out the complaint filed by one Ms Jwala Gurunath, whose allegations Tajinder had countered fiercely by releasing a video and evidence just a few days ago.
While reading the complaint, Chaturvedi’s lawyer ended up with a self-goal of sorts considering even the complaint by Gurunath, which was later quashed, had no mention of sexual harassment at all and hence, the question of Tajinder Bagga being arrested for it did not arise.
Swati Chaturvedi’s lawyer then conceded, having failed to prove his point, that there was no arrest as claimed by Swati Chaturvedi.
The Court then told Swati Chaturvedi and her lawyers that either they withdraw their petition and file the same in a lower court, or the High Court would have no option but to dismiss the petition filed by Chaturvedi.
After a 5 minute recess, where the lawyer consulted with his clients, they agreed to withdraw their petition.
The lawyer asked the Judge for a stay on proceedings until they file the petition in the lower court and the High Court granted them a limited stay of 4 weeks after which, the proceedings would go on.