Bhopal, Nov 17 (PTI) A court today sentenced Madhya Pradesh Congress chief spokesman K K Mishra to two years in jail in a defamation case filed by the state government on behalf of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Minutes after the verdict, the court, presided over by Additional District and Session Judge Kashninath Singh, granted bail to Mishra, whose counsel said he will challenge the ruling in the High Court.

The court found Mishra guilty of making false and defamatory statements against Chouhan and his family. It also imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on the Congress leader.

If Mishra fails to pay this fine, he will have to undergo additional three more months of imprisonment.

The case dates back to June 21, 2014, when Mishra, addressing a press meet here, had alleged 19 people from Gondia, Maharashtra, the home district of Sadhana Singh, Chouhan’s wife, were illegally recruited as constables in the state transport department.

He had alleged the state transport constable recruitment test was part of the Vyapam scam – a massive admission and recruitment racket Madhya Pradesh.

Mishra had also levelled other allegations against Chouhan and his family.

Public prosecutor Anand Tiwari, on behalf of the state government, in July 2014 had filed a defamation suit against Mishra, stating his vague allegations had damaged the status of Chouhan and his family members.

Judge Singh, after hearing both the parties and going through the material on record, convicted Mishra.

“The court found Mishra’s statements false. Nobody from Gondia made it to the transport department as a constable,” Tiwari told reporters in the court premises.

Mishra’s counsel Ajay Gupta said his client will move the Madhya Pradesh High Court against the verdict.

We are going to move the High Court against the lower court’s verdict in the defamation case,” Gupta added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.