Wrestler Bajrang Punia summoned by Delhi court over criminal defamation complaint

- August 3, 2023
| By : Patriot Bureau |

The complaint claimed that Punia, along with other wrestlers/persons, made defamatory remarks against Dahiya in a press conference held on May 10 at Jantar Mantar during a protest

Jakarta: India's Bajrang Punia poses with his gold medal after winning in the Finals of men's freestyle wrestling (65kg) against Japan's Daichi Takatani at the Asian Games 2018, in Jakarta on Sunday, August 19, 2018. (PTI Photo/Shahbaz Khan) (PTI8_19_2018_000227B)

A Delhi court has taken action on a criminal defamation complaint filed by wrestling coach Naresh Dahiya against wrestler Bajrang Punia.

On September 6, Punia has been summoned by Metropolitan Magistrate Yashdeep Chahal to appear before the court. The magistrate expressed a “prima facie” view that all the elements of defamation have been established in the case.

The court clarified that during the summoning stage, it is not necessary to delve into a comparative analysis of the potential defenses that the accused may take. Based on a careful consideration of the complaint, supporting documents, and pre-summoning evidence, the magistrate believes that all the elements of defamation have been met.

The statement made by Punia during a press conference at Jantar Mantar on May 10, along with other wrestlers/persons, is suspected to have been motivated by malicious intent and not made in good faith.

The defamation complaint alleges that Punia and others made defamatory remarks against Dahiya during the press conference, which was organised to protest against alleged sexual harassment of certain women wrestlers by the outgoing Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

The court has now summoned Bajrang Punia under Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code, which deal with criminal defamation. The matter will be addressed on the scheduled date, September 6. (With inputs from PTI)