The Delhi High Court on Thursday stayed trial court proceedings against Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Hans Raj Hans and Manjinder Singh Sirsa in a criminal defamation case filed by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, reported Bar and Bench.

In 2019, Sisodia had filed the defamation case against BJP leaders Manoj Tiwari, Parvesh Verma, Vijender Gupta, Harish Khurana, Hans, and Sirsa for alleging that the Aam Aadmi Party was involved in a Rs 2,000-crore scam. The BJP leaders had claimed that an additional Rs 2,000 crore was spent on the construction of classrooms in Delhi when they could have been constructed in a budget of Rs 892 crore.

Sisodia had accused the six BJP leaders of defaming him through “offending publications” that he said were based on “cooked up” allegations.

On November 28, 2021, an additional chief metropolitan magistrate had summoned Hans and Sirsa for an alleged offence under Section 500 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code, reported The Indian Express. Hans was also summoned under Section 34 (common intention to commit an offence) of the Indian Penal Code.

On Thursday, Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma stayed the proceedings against the two BJP leaders. The court also listed the main petitions challenging the proceedings and the interim applications seeking a stay on March 10.

The counsels appearing for Hans and Sirsa argued that one of the persons in the case, Gupta, had moved the Supreme Court and obtained relief, reported Bar and Bench.

In October, the Supreme Court had dismissed Tiwari’s plea seeking to quash the summons against him.