Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal has taken legal action against Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann by filing a defamation suit, seeking Rs 1 crore in damages for intentional defamation as reported by The Indian Express.
The lawsuit alleges that Mann, as part of an alleged conspiracy by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) against the Badal family and SAD, made defamatory remarks on 1 November 2023, during the 'Punjab Bolda Haan' debate session at Dr Manmohan Singh Auditorium.
The debate, which saw the absence of rival politicians who dismissed it as a mere drama and a publicity stunt by Mann, has escalated into a legal battle.
In response, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann, attending a function in Sangrur, welcomed the defamation suit and affirmed his commitment to attending every court hearing.
Earlier, SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal initiated a civil suit in the court of the Civil Judge in Muktsar through his advocate, submitting a court fee of Rs 2.29 lakh.
The lawsuit contends that Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann falsely claimed on 1 November 2023, that the plaintiff and his family diverted crucial water from Punjab to their farmland in Balasar village, Haryana, via a private canal.
It asserts that Mann deliberately made these false statements, despite being aware of the actual facts, for political gain.
Presented by advocate Manjinder Singh Brar, the suit notes that a legal notice was issued on 17 November 2023, providing ample time for the chief minister to apologise for his actions.
The lawsuit also emphasises that the awarded damages of Rs 1 crore will be dedicated to serving the Panth, benefiting the families of martyrs.
Expressing dissatisfaction with Chief Minister Mann’s statements regarding their transport business, Badal criticised Mann for his "habitual practice of lying" and vowed to hold him accountable in court for slander.
Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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