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Assam CM Sarma Files Criminal Defamation Suit Against Delhi Dy CM Manish Sisodia

By: Niloy Bhattacherjee

News18.com

Last Updated: July 01, 2022, 17:18 IST

Guwahati

Manish Sisodia and Himanta Biswa Sarma engaged in a war of words as the AAP leader accused the Assam CM of corruption. (Image: ANI Twitter)

Manish Sisodia and Himanta Biswa Sarma engaged in a war of words as the AAP leader accused the Assam CM of corruption. (Image: ANI Twitter)

Saikia said that in his plea, Sarma has stated that “JCB industries had not been allotted any contract to supply PPE kit and had not taken money from NHM, Assam”

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday filed a criminal defamation suit against Delhi’s deputy CM Manish Sisodia, as the latter alleged that Sarma was involved in a PPE kit scam in 2020.

Debojit Lon Saikia, Advocate General, Assam, stated: “On June 4, Delhi’s Deputy CM Manish Sisodia convened a PC. The video of the PC has been uploaded in their party (AAP)’s YouTube channel. In the PC, Sisodia alleged Sarma was involved in some scam. He alleged that in 2020, during the pandemic, when the present Chief Minister of Assam was the Health Minister, he had allotted contracts of PPE Kit supply to his wife’s company namely JCB Industries. He also alleged that JCB industries had been ordered to supply PPE kits at the rate of Rs 900, while others supplied the same for Rs 600. When Sarma questioned the allegations, there was no clarification from Sisodia. So Sarma decided to file a criminal defamation case at the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Kamrup Rural under section IPC 499, 500 and 501.”

Saikia said that in his plea, Sarma has stated that “JCB industries had not been allotted any contract to supply PPE kit and had not taken money from NHM, Assam”.

“JCB industries supplied about 1,500 PPE kits as CSR activities to NHM, Assam and Sisodia’s claims were fabricated,” Saikia said, adding, “The chief judicial magistrate has ordered Sarma to submit his initial deposit on June 22.”

Sisodia had alleged that the Assam CM took “advantage” of the pandemic. He had also attached the alleged supply order of 5,000 kits at the rate of Rs 990 from NHM to JCB Industries on March 18, 2020, to support his claims.

Sisodia further said the company did not even deal in medical equipment. “While the contract given to the firm of Sarma’s wife was cancelled as the company could not supply PPE kits, another supply order was given to the firm belonging to the business partners of his son at a rate of Rs 1,680 per kit,” Sisodia said citing a media report.

Sarma had tweeted: “Stop sermonizing. I will see you in Guwahati as you (Sisodia) will face criminal defamation.”

In a series of tweets, he wrote, “My wife gathered the courage to come forward and donated around 1,500 of them free of cost to the government to save lives. She didn’t take a single penny”.

The chief minister also attached a letter of appreciation from then NHM director Dr Lakshmanan for providing the PPE kits as CSR.

Another Rs 100-crore defamation suit has been filed by Sisodia in the Guwahati civil court on behalf of Sarma’s wife, Riniki Bhuyan Sarma.

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first published:July 01, 2022, 17:12 IST
last updated:July 01, 2022, 17:18 IST