Shimla (Nov 23): A local court here today exempted Union Industry and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma from appearing personally before it for giving his statement under Section 313 of CrPC in a defamation case filed by Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal in 2003.
While pronouncing the order over Sharma’s application moved before Chief Judicial Magistrate PS Samyal, seeking exemption from personal appearance, the court accepted the application asking him to file his statement through his counsel now.
Before accepting the plea, counsel for petitioner Prem Kumar Dhumal had pleaded before the court not to allow the minister exemption from personal appearance. After hearing the argument presented before the court on November 20 on the plea, the court today gave directions allowing him relief. The court fixed next date of hearing on December 18, 2010.
In 2003, Dhumal had filed a ‘criminal defamation” case against Sharma along with former Punjab Chief Minister and PCC president Capt Amarinder Singh and former Congress party national treasurer Moti Lal Vora for allegedly making inflammatory remarks against him and his government.