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Jagdish Tytler withdraws plea from Delhi HC, says he will contest defamation charges in trial court

The trial court framed the charges in March 2015 on the basis of a complaint filed by senior advocate HS Phoolka.

Congress leader Jagdish Tytler on Thursday withdrew from the Delhi High Court his plea challenging the framing of charges against him in a defamation case, PTI reported. Senior advocate HS Phoolka, who represents the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, had filed the case against Tytler for allegedly making statements harming his reputation.

Phoolka, in a complaint filed in 2006, had alleged that Tytler had levelled “false and derogatory” allegations against him during a television debate aired in September 2004.

A trial court framed the charges against Tytler on March 2, 2015. The same month, Tytler filed a plea in the High Court against the trial court’s order. The High Court then restrained the trial court from taking any decision in the matter.

The Congress leader’s counsel Arunabh Chowdhury, however, told Justice RK Gauba on Thursday that his client wants to contest the charges in the trial court, which is scheduled to hear the matter for three days starting July 17.

Tytler’s counsel told the High Court during previous proceedings that the trial court had framed charges in the case on the basis of a video cassette obtained from the channel. The video cassette was not certified as required by Indian Evidence Act and various Supreme Court rulings, his counsel had argued. However, Phoolka said that witnesses would be able to corroborate his allegations and this was enough to frame the charges against the veteran Congress leader.

Tytler is accused of having a role in the riots that took place in North Delhi’s Gurdwara Pulbangash, where three people were killed on November 1, 1984, a day after the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

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