A local court acquitted former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh in a decade-old defamation case after he claimed he shared a cordial relationship with the complainant, former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and showed remorse if he had hurt him by incorrect reporting in the press.
Taking on record his statement, Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Jyotsna Dadwal dropped the criminal defamation proceedings against Amarinder Singh. However, the defamation case against another senior Congress leader, Moti Lal Vora, in the same case, would continue.
In a statement given by Captain Amarinder Singh, in the Court of CJM, Shimla, he said
“Dhumal and I have shared cordial relationship. In the course of my speech in Hamirpur on January 18 2003, I did not attack Dhumal personally though I criticized his Government. Unfortunately, the speech was incorrectly reported in some of the News Papers. I did not level any personal allegation against Dhumal. The allegations against Dhumal attributed to me in some of the News Papers are unfounded and have not made by me. I regret the hurt caused to Dhumal by incorrect reporting in the press.”
At this, the complainant, Prem Kumar Dhumal, said that he did not want to pursue the case.
Earlier, Dhumal had told the court that the charges by Amarinder Singh and Vora were false and politically motivated, to tarnish his image. Both had reportedly alleged at an election rally in Hamirpur that Dhumal had amassed assets to the tune of Rs.25 crore through questionable means.