Delhi court exempts Bajrang Punia from personal appearance in a defamation case
Delhi's Metropolitan Magistrate Yashdeep Chahal granted Bajrang relief after the wrestler's lawyer informed the court that his client left India for Kyrgyzstan to prepare for the upcoming Asian games on September 13.
Bajrang Punia has been granted an exemption from personal appearance for the day by a Delhi court on Thursday after the wrestler requested relief in a plea. Bajrang has been accused of slander after a defamation lawsuit was filed against him by wrestling coach Naresh Dahiya.
Delhi's Metropolitan Magistrate Yashdeep Chahal granted Bajrang relief after the wrestler's lawyer informed the court that his client left India for Kyrgyzstan to prepare for the upcoming Asian games on September 13. Bajrang's lawyer also presented a letter from the Sports Authority of India (SAI) stating that Bajrang along with his trainer Sujeet Maan left abroad.
On September 6, too, the court had given Bajrang an exemption from personal appearance for a day on medical grounds after his lawyer said he was suffering from fever.
The judge had summoned Bajrang to appear before the court on August 3. According to the court, Bajrang was the “prima facie” in the defamation case.
Dahiya accused Punia and a few other wrestlers of making defamatory remarks against him at a press conference at Jantar Mantar on May 10, 2023, during their protest against outgoing Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief and BJP MP from Kaiserganj Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
The court has now set the next date for hearing on October 17, 2023.
Bajrang and his five fellow wrestlers, including Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik and Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat, had launched a protest against Brij Bhushan alleging sexual harassment against women's wrestlers.
The Delhi police had filed a 1,000-page charge sheet accusing Brij Bhushan and another former WFI staffer Tomar of offences like outraging modesty, making sexually coloured remarks, stalking and criminal intimidation.
Bajrang, a 65kg weight category wrestler, will compete in the Hangzhou Asian Games, starting on September 23.