Himanta Biswa Sarma, the chief minister, has filed a criminal defamation lawsuit in Assam’s Kamrup district against Manish Sisodia, the deputy chief minister of Delhi, for allegedly accusing the latter of wrongdoing when awarding a contract for the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the firm of his wife Riniki Sarma.
In a different Kamrup court, Riniki Sarma also filed a defamation lawsuit against Sisodia last month, demanding 100 in damages from him. The Kamrup court ordered the deputy chief minister to appear there on July 25.
The chief minister’s attorney, Debajit Saikia, stated that his client brought the lawsuit due to the unfounded claims Sisodia made at a press conference on June 4 in Delhi. He added Sisodia had asserted that the state health minister at the time, the chief minister, had given his company an urgent contract for the provision of PPE kits at prices above the going rate. “Sisodia charged [Himanta Biswa] Sarma of corruption without providing any evidence for her claims. Late on Thursday, a lawsuit was filed to contest the accusations and demand redress.
The next hearing date in the case of the chief minister has been set by the court for July 22.
According to Sisodia, Himanta Biswa Sarma allegedly placed urgent supply orders for PPE kits at a cost of 990 per piece for the company in which his wife and son were partners. According to him, the state government paid 600 per piece for those kits from other businesses.
Sisodia didn’t respond right away to the second case.
After many articles by the news website thewire.in, Riniki Sarma released a statement last month denying any wrongdoings. She claimed that in March 2020, not a single PPE kit was accessible in Assam, so she got in touch with a professional acquaintance and, “with a lot of work,” delivered over 1,500 kits.
“Not a single dime from this supply was taken by me. Regardless of my husband’s political affiliation, I have always been open about my desire to give back to society, the statement read.