The Delhi High Court today stayed proceedings before the trial court in a criminal defamation case against Subramanian Swamy filed by the party's spokesperson for Delhi Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga.

Justice Jasmeet Singh issued notice to Bagga on Swamy's petition challenging the summons issued to him for April 6 in the matter and said, "proceedings in the complaint case are stayed till the next date of hearing".

On March 22, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Dharmender Singh had passed the order summoning the Rajya Sabha Member as an accused in the defamation case, saying there was sufficient ground for proceedings against him.

In his complaint, Bagga had claimed that last September, Swamy falsely alleged in a tweet that before joining the BJP, he (Bagga) was jailed many times for petty crimes at New Delhi Mandir Marg Police Station.

Senior Advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for Swamy, argued that the trial court order was misconceived as an erroneous meaning was given to his tweet.

He stated that there was material in the public domain to show that the "substantial allegation" of his tweet i.e. the complainant was jailed, existed.

In his testimony before the trial court, Bagga had argued that the allegations against him are false and had been made to harm the reputation of the complainant.

"Even sub-inspector Sandeep Kumar, Police Station Mandir Marg, has also corroborated the version of complainant... This clearly shows that without verifying the veracity of the statement, Swamy made the same and in view of this court, said statement is sufficient to raise the reasonable doubt about the antecedents and character of the complainant," the trial court had noted.

In view of allegations made in the complaint, testimonies of the witnesses, and material brought on record by them, the trial court had said it was "prima facie" satisfied that there were sufficient grounds for the summoning of Swamy as accused qua offence punishable under section 500 (defamation) IPC.

The matter would be heard next by the High Court on September 6.

With PTI inputs