Just because Bapat (left) has withdrawn the defamation suit, does not mean I will withdraw the allegations of corruption made against him, said Malik (Right).
Mumbai : The minister for food and civil supplies, Girish Bapat, has withdrawn his defamation case against Nawab Malik, spokesperson of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). An indefatigable Malik, however, is undeterred. “Just because Bapat has withdrawn the defamation suit, does not mean I will withdraw the allegations of corruption made against him,” said Malik.
A year ago, Malik had held a press conference detailing corruption in the tur dal case, in which he had named Bapat. Malik had accused Bapat of relaxing the curbs on procurement and sale of tur dal, due to which the prices escalated and there was a Rs 2,000 crore scam. Malik had blamed Bapat of indulging in malpractices, which caused Bapat to file a defamation suit.
In his statement, Bapat said the charges were baseless. “The total seized stock was worth Rs 540 crore, of which Tur Dal stock was worth Rs 140 crore, so to allege a Rs 2,000 crore scam was baseless,” said the BJP minister.
Bapat had filed these charges against Malik in Pune’s first class Magistrate court. He was sent repeated summons and could not remain present for the hearings, which have been going on for a year. In view of the consequences, Bapat took this decision of his own volition. In such a situation, normally the judge will either dismiss the case or decide it based on the defendant’s evidence, especially if the defendant, in this case Malik, had filed a claim.
Both Bapat and Malik were present in the court Friday. Speaking to reporters, Malik said his allegations were not against Bapat as an individual. “I submitted to the court that the allegations were against the government, not an individual. After that he did not drag out the issue and withdrew the case,” the NCP leader said.