BHOPAL: Opposition Congress party’s state chief spokesperson K K Mishra was sentenced to two years in jail along with a Rs 25,000 fine by the Bhopal District and Session Court on Friday for making false allegations against Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in a Vyapam-scam related case in 2014.
The additional District and Sessions Judge Kashinath Singh pronounced the verdict on Friday while hearing the defamation suit filed on behalf of the MP CM in June 2014.
Inability to pay the Rs 25,000 fine would see Mishra’s jail term being extended by three months more.
Just after the court verdict, Mishra moved a bail plea, which was accepted by the same court. The court granted Mishra bail on presentation of a personal and surety bond of Rs 50,000.
The court order will be challenged before the Madhya Pradesh High Court, while a copy of the court’s Friday order will also be submitted before the Supreme Court, where a special leave petition is pending.
On June 21 2014, the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee chief spokesperson held a press conference at the state party headquarters in Bhopal, where he alleged that Chouhan and kin were involved in the constable recruitment fraud, which formed part of the multi-layered larger Vyapam scam.
Mishra had categorically mentioned at the press conference that a total of 19 candidates from Gondia district of Maharashtra (which is home district of CM’s wife Sadhna Singh) were recruited as constables in the transport department.
Just three days later on June 24, 2014, a complaint alleging defamation of the CM was filed by the public prosecutor against Mishra in the Bhopal district and sessions court.
In February 2017, defamation charges were framed against Mishra in court, after which the CM appeared before it for recording statements in April. In August 2017, Mishra filed a special leave petition before the Supreme Court against framing of charges against him in the trial court. In October 2017, Mishra again moved the apex court seeking transfer of the case from the ADJ (I) court in Bhopal to another court, but the SC didn’t grant him relief.
Both petitions are pending before the SC, which is monitoring the trial in the case in Bhopal, said Mishra’s counsel.
While Chouhan tweeted a two-line Sanskrit shloka about truth having prevailed, Mishra said, “I respect the court verdict, which has come on expected lines.”