New Delhi: A court here on Monday took cognizance of a defamation complaint against suspended BJP leader Kirti Azad for his alleged “defamatory” and “false” remarks against Delhi-based cricketer Himmat Singh and his father Tejbir Singh.

Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain agreed to hear the criminal defamation complaint against Azad and posted the matter for hearing on February 22. The court will record the statement of complainant witnesses on the next date of hearing.

The complaint was filed by Himmat Singh’s father Tejbir Singh last month against Azad and three other former cricketers including Bishan Singh Bedi, claiming that the four made baseless allegations against his son Himmat Singh, saying he was selected in a cricket tournament after giving a bribe of Rs.25 lakh.

During the brief hearing on Monday, the complaint’s counsel advocate Gajender Singh told court that in a recently hold press conference by Azad, former cricketers Bedi and Surender Khanna, and Sameer Bahadur, who is also associated with cricket, they defamed the name of his client and harmed his reputation.

Advocate Kumar said the allegation levelled against young cricketer has disreputed his name.

Citing the record of young cricketer, he stated that Himmat Singh was selected on the squad of under-19 Delhi cricket team due to his merit in performance.

He further said whatever may be the motive of the accused in making the statement, whether due to politics or to highlight corruption in Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA), the young cricketer’s name has been allegedly defamed.

Tejbir Singh said the “baseless” and “concocted” story of the four accused people caused “immense damage” to Himmat Singh and their family.

“False and defamatory statements regarding the exchange of Rs.25 lakh for selection of the complainant’s son, Himmat Singh, for some tournament ie. Vijay Hazare Trophy, is concocted per se and the same are not only false but false to the knowledge of the accused jointly and severally,” alleged Tejbir Singh, in his complaint.

“The accused, knowing fully well that the telecast of false and baseless statements over TV and Internet have been intentional and with a motive to create sensation, and with a hidden agenda, have circulated this false and defamatory material,” the complainant stated in his plea.

He has also sought prosecution under section 500 Indian Penal Code (punishment for defamation).

(Also Read: Kirti Azad remains defiant, says he did not speak against his party)

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