Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari filed a criminal defamation case against Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh in a Delhi court on Monday for his alleged remarks on a particular coal block allocation.
Singh had alleged that Rajya Sabha MP Ajay Sancheti was given coal block in single bidding due to his closeness with Gadkari.
Advocate Pinky Anand, who appeared for Gadkari, told Metropolitan Magistrate Sudesh Kumar that the BJP leader had no business relationship with Sancheti.
The court also recorded Gadkari´s statement, who was present in the court during the hearing.
Gadkari´s counsel said told the court that a legal notice was sent to Singh on Sept 14 but he did not give a reply to it.
Reacting to Gadkari´s move, Singh told reporters: "I welcome his move. Now I need to research Nitin Gadkari´s business interests and also his partners."
Singh earlier said Sancheti is Gadkari´s business partner.
"Ajay Sancheti, BJP MP and close aide and business partner of Nitin Gadkari has been given coal block in single bidding while no allocations are done in single bidding leading to losses in crores," Singh told media.
Both the BJP and Sancheti, however, have denied Singh´s allegations.
The BJP and the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government have exchanged barbs over the coal block allocation issue in the recent time.
Indian Parliament could not function the entire monsoon session over the demand of the PM´s resignation and cancellation of licences of coal blocks and an independent probe into the coal scam.
The coal report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pointed finger at the loss-making coal block allocations when the portfolio was held by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The report by the CAG said 25 private companies received benefits of around Rs 1.86 lakh crore through of coalblock allocations in various states.