GUWAHATI, Jan 18 - Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today appeared before the Court of Civil Judge No. 1, Kamrup (Metro) in connection with a Rs 100 crore defamation suit (Title Suit No. 459/2015) filed by former Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Advocate General of Assam AC Buragohain, who appeared on behalf of the Chief Minister, contended before the court that prima facie the news report based on which the defamation suit was filed does not make a case of defamation and sought time to file objections in regard to the plaintiff�s plea of apology and injunction.
The court after hearing both the sides fixed February 8 as the date for hearing, while the injunction plea will also be filed on the same date. Gogoi had allegedly termed Sarma as an accused in the Saradha and Louis Berger cases.
Senior advocate Devajit Saikia appeared on behalf of Himanta Biswa Sarma. Coming out of the court premises, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told mediapersons that he appeared before the court in response to a summon issued by the court. No one is above the law and I want to give this message, the Chief Minister said.
Earlier, the Chief Minister reached the court around 10.30am along with his son and Member of Parliament Gaurav Gogoi, where hundreds of Congress supporters and almost all the Ministers were present. The Ministers, including Rakibul Hussain, Bhumidhar Barman, Sarat Barkataky and Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Anjan Dutta among many other Congress legislators, were present.
Our law reporter adds: Along with the above title suit, Himanta Biswa Sarma also filed a miscellaneous case (No. 505/ 2015) praying for grant of an ad interim injunction against publishing any remark on him during pendency of the suit. The court after hearing the case fixed February 8, next for filing objection by the defendants and also for hearing of the Misc Case (No 505/2015) on the prayer of ad interim injunction.
It needs mention here that generally defendants in defamation cases are not required to appear personally in the court, they are represented by their advocates.