Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma`s wife Riniki Bhuyan Sarma on Tuesday filed a Rs 100 crore civil defamation suit against Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in Civil Judge Court, Kamrup (Metro), Guwahati. AAP leader Sisodia, in a press conference on June 4, alleged that the Assam government had given contracts to the Chief Minister`s wife`s firms and son`s business partner to supply PPE kits above market rates when the COVID-19 pandemic was raging in the country in 2020.
Riniki Bhuyan Sarma`s lawyer Padmadhar Nayak said that they are expecting that the case will list on Wednesday and they will move further.
Himanta Biswa Sarma had earlier said he will initiate legal action against Sisodia after the AAP leader`s allegations. In his clarification, the Assam CM had said, “At a time when the entire country was facing the worst pandemic in over 100 years, Assam hardly had any PPE Kits. My wife took the courage of coming forward and donated around 1,500 PPE kits free of cost to the government to save lives. She didn`t take a single penny.”
Reacting to the allegations of irregularities in the supply of PPE kits, Sarma stated that the PPE kits were “gifted to the government” and his wife`s company “raised no bill” for it.
Sisodia had then shared a bill addressed to the JCB Industries from NHM-Assam mission director S Lakshmanan and said, “Honorable Chief Minister Himanta Biswa ji! Here is your wife`s contract to buy 5000 kits in the name of JCB Industries at 990/- per kit… Tell me, is this paper false? Is it not corruption to give a tender purchase order to your wife`s company as a health minister?”
Rinku Bhuyan Sarma, wife of Himanta Biswa Sarma had earlier issued a clarification over Sisodia`s allegations.
“In the first week of the pandemic, not a single PPE kit was available with Assam. Taking cognizance of the same, I reached out to a business acquaintance and delivered about 1500 PPE kits to NHM with a lot of effort. Later on, I wrote to the NHM to treat the same as part of my CSR. I didn`t take a single penny out of the supply. I have always been transparent about my belief in giving back to society, irrespective of my husband`s political standing,” she said.