Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Saturday filed a criminal complaint before a Delhi court accusing Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot of defaming him with remarks on the Sanjivani scam.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Harpreet Singh took cognisance of the matter and listed it for Monday to record the statement of witnesses in support of Shekhawat's complaint.
The complaint alleged that Gehlot defamed the BJP leader by alleging his role in the Sanjivani Credit Cooperative Society scam.
"There is irreparable damage caused to his (Shekhawat) reputation," the complaint claimed.
The complaint alleged that Gehlot has been making defamatory remarks, trying to tarnish Shekhawat's image and affect his political career.
Meanwhile, Gehlot said that Union Jalshakti Minister Shekhawat's move will bring the scam into national focus.
“I will welcome it (defamation case). This would expedite the case and help the victims who have lost money to the scam,” the chief minister told reporters in Jaipur when asked about the defamation case against him in Delhi.
“This man (Shekhawat) should be ashamed of himself. Being a Union minister, he should have called the victims and helped them get justice," the Congress leader said.
Gehlot said the Rajasthan government is ready to cooperate in the investigation into the case. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah should take note of the scam.
The senior Congress leader added that his government has written to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to probe the matter but in vain.
He said the right to confiscate property is with the ED and the Special Operations Group of the state police cannot seize the property of the accused.
"If you (Shekhawat) are innocent then why don't you come forward to get the money of the poor back?" Chief Minister Gelhot's Officer on Special Duty Lokesh Sharma said.
In the Sanjivani Credit Cooperative Society, thousands of investors allegedly lost Rs 900 crore. Rajasthan Police's Special Operations Group (SOG) has been investigating the case since August 2019.