Lucknow, March 19 : Ajay Kumar Lallu, former Uttar Pradesh Congress chief, has been sentenced to one-year imprisonment in a four-year-old defamation case.
The two-time MLA from Kushinagar's Tamkuhi Raj constituency, was also slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 by the court of additional chief judicial magistrate, Ambrish Kumar Srivastava.
Following the verdict, Lallu said, "I respect the court's order. I will challenge it in a higher court." The Congress leader was booked for making 'defamatory' remarks against Shrikant Sharma, who served as the energy minister during Yogi Adityanath's first term as chief minister.
Lallu had accused Shrikant of being involved in the Dewan Housing Finance Corp Limited (DHFL) scam. Shrikant Sharma scrapped all accusations and demanded an apology from Lallu.
Later, when the Congress leader did not take back his allegations, Sharma filed a defamation case. In its verdict, the court observed that the chief of a major political party should have exercised restraint and not made the allegation.
The leader was not arrested and secured bail from the court.
Meanwhile, lawyer K.K. Mishra, who is also a member of BJP's legal cell, said, "All allegations against Shrikant Sharma were baseless and politically motivated. The court's decision has proved this."