Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has filed a criminal defamation case against Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia for levelling 'baseless' corruption charges against him in connection with the supply of PPE kits at 'higher than market rates' to National Health Mission authorities during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sarma's advocate said on Friday.
The case has been registered in the court of chief judicial magistrate, Kamrup Rural on Thursday and listed on July 22 for initial deposition by the complainant, he said.
The case pertains to the allegation of supply of PPE kits at 'higher than market rates' during the first wave of COVID-19 to National Health Mission, Assam by JCB Industries, which is co-owned by Sarma's wife Riniki Bhuyan Sarma.
"Manish Sisodia had levelled corruption charges against Himanta Biswa Sarma at a press conference in New Delhi on June 4. He had specifically claimed that NHM had procured PPE kits at inflated rates from a company co-owned by Sarma's wife during his tenure as the state's health minister in 2020," Sarma's advocate Devojit Saikia said.
Noting that the allegation is 'baseless', Saikia said, "On being aggrieved by the allegations levelled against him and not receiving any clarification on the matter later, Sarma decided to seek legal remedy and file a criminal defamation case."
He claimed that the PPE kits were donated by JCB Industries.