Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has filed a criminal defamation case against Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia. The case has been filed against Sisodia over his allegations of malpractice in giving contracts for PPE kit when Sarma was the state health minister during the Sonowal-led government.
The Delhi Deputy CM alleged that the then health minister, now CM of Assam awarded a contract for PPE kits to a company linked to his wife and grossly overpaid for the gear.
Meanwhile, Sarma’s wife Riniki Bhuyan Sarma has already filed a Rs. 100 crore civil defamation case against Sisodia.
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"Himanta Biswa Sarma awarded the contract to his wife's company. He paid ₹ 990 for the PPE kits while others were purchased at ₹ 600 a piece from another company on the same day. This is a huge crime," Mr Sisodia had said while leveling the allegations earlier this month.
Sisodia had claimed he had the documents to prove so.
At the time, Mr Sarma had warned Mr Sisodia "will see you soon in Guwahati as you will face criminal defamation".
New Delhi-based 'The Wire' and Guwahati-based 'The Crosscurrent', the digital media organizations on June 1 had in a joint investigative report claimed that the Assam government had placed four COVID-19 related emergency medical supply orders, most likely without following proper process.
The medial portals, citing a series of Right to Information replies, had claimed that all the four orders, placed between March 18 and March 23 of 2020, were bagged by three firms owned by Riniki Bhuyan Sarma and the family's business associate Ghanshyam Dhanuka.
However, Riniki Bhuyan Sarma has refuted any wrongdoing in the supply of PPE kits to National Health Mission, adding that she did not take a "single penny" for them.
The Assam government and Mr Sarma have separately denied all charges that the chief minister's family was involved in the alleged malpractices and termed the allegations by the two digital media as "false, imaginary, malicious and of vested interests".