The Delhi High Court today stayed the proceedings before the trial court in a defamation case lodged by Delhi BJP spokesperson Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga against journalist Swati Chaturvedi.

Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar issued notice on the petition by Chaturvedi challenging the summons issued by the trial court to her on the defamation complaint and asked Bagga to file his response to the plea in two weeks.

"Till then, trial proceedings are stayed," said the judge.

The Counsel appearing for the petitioner contended that no case for defamation was made out from the material on record and the complainant has not even brought forth witnesses before the trial court to substantiate his claim that his reputation was lowered due to the actions of Chaturvedi.

The defamation case arises from a tweet Chaturvedi allegedly posted in 2017 in which she claimed Bagga had not only beaten up a lawyer once but was also arrested in a sexual harassment matter.

Bagga's Counsel had told the trial court that the tweet was made after he was appointed a BJP spokesperson.

The Counsel for the complainant defended the summoning order and said the petition lacked merit and the issue of lowering of reputation was a question of fact to be decided during the trial.

It was also said that there is no necessity under the law to examine any witness on the issue of loss of reputation at this stage.

The Counsel, who opposed stay on trial court proceedings, also said the allegation pertaining to the sexual harassment case was absolutely incorrect and the matter relating to beating up a lawyer was sub-judice.

The petitioner's lawyer said Bagga himself acknowledged the incident where he beat up another lawyer and the victim of the sexual harassment case in question had also earlier tweeted about it.

A magisterial court order had directed Chaturvedi to appear before it in the case filed by Bagga in May 2018. The matter will be heard next on July 18.

With PTI inputs