The Delhi High Court on Tuesday stayed proceedings before a trial court in a defamation case filed by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga against journalist Swati Chaturvedi, Bar and Bench reported.

After Bagga was appointed as one of the spokespersons of the Delhi BJP unit in 2017, the journalist in a tweet wrote, “Now the man who beat up @pbhushan1 [senior advocate Prashant Bhushan] was arrested in a sexual harassment case speaks for @BJP4India. Good job.”

A magistrate court had directed Chaturvedi to appear before it after Bagga filed the case in May 2018. Her appeal against this order was dismissed in December by Judge Sudhir Kumar Sirohi, who had said that Chaturvedi’s tweet alleging sexual harassment “lowered the image of public figure, that too when he was representing a national party”.

After this, Chaturvedi moved the High Court. Advocate Adit S Pujari, appearing for the journalist, on Tuesday argued that no case for defamation was made out from the material on record. The complainant has not even brought forth witnesses before the trial court to substantiate his claim that his “image was lowered in the eyes of public” due to the actions of Chaturvedi, Pujari submitted.

The petitioner’s lawyer also said Bagga himself acknowledged that he had beaten up Bhushan in 2011 and the victim of the sexual harassment case had tweeted about the BJP leader’s involvement.

Bagga’s counsel, however, told the Delhi High Court that no case had been filed against his client for sexual harassment.

Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar asked Bagga to file his response to Chaturvedi’s plea in two weeks and stayed the trial court proceedings. The case will be heard next in July.