New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday restrained a trial court from taking any decision in the defamation case against Congress leader Jagdish Tytler on a complaint filed by a senior advocate representing the victims in the 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases.

The trial court had framed charges against Tytler in the case on March 2, 2015 saying he had prime facie defamed senior advocate HS Phoolka, the complainant in the matter, by allegedly making imputations to harm his reputation.

“Issue notice to respondents 1 (state) and 2 (HS Phoolka). Put up for further hearing on August 28. Till then the trial court is restrained from taking any decision,” a single judge bench of Justice Sunil Gaur said on a plea filed by Tytler against the trial court order.

The counsel appearing for Tytler argued that the basis on which the trial court had framed charges in the defamation case was a video cassette obtained from a private TV channel. “The said video cassette was not certified as mandated under Indian Evidence Act and various Supreme Court rulings,” the counsel said.

He pleaded that the March 2 order of the trial court be stayed till the pendency of the plea challenging it. After perusing the record, the bench asked the counsel, how the case came to Delhi to which he replied that Supreme Court had transferred the case from Punjab to Delhi on Tytler’s plea.

Earlier, the trial court had issued notice to Tytler under provision of CrPC, after prima facie finding him guilty of defaming the senior advocate under section 499 of IPC punishable under section 500 of IPC. Tytler had pleaded not guilty and had claimed trial after which the court is at the stage of recording of evidences.

Earlier, the Congress leader had argued in the trial court that there was no legally admissible evidence to frame charge against him in the defamation complaint. 

Phoolka, who had earlier refused to accept Tytler’s offer of ‘unconditional apology’, had countered his submissions contending that the complaint, statement of the complainant and other witnesses corroborating it, were enough to frame charges against him.

In his complaint filed in 2006, Phoolka had alleged that Tytler had levelled “false and derogatory” allegations against him to harm his reputation in the society during the TV debate aired in September 2004. The complaint against Tytler was initially filed in a Ludhiana court in Punjab.