Taking on record his statement, Chief Judicial Magistrate Jyotsna Dadwal dropped the criminal defamation proceedings against Amarinder Singh. But the defamation case against another senior Congress leader, Moti Lal Vora, in the same case, would continue.

"Dhumal and I have shared cordial relationship. In the course of my speech in Hamirpur on 18 January 2003, I did not attack Dhumal personally, though I criticized his government," a statement by Amarinder Singh in the court said.

He said that unfortunately, the speech was incorrectly reported in some newspapers. "I did not level any personal allegation against Dhumal. The allegations against Dhumal attributed to me in some newspapers are unfounded and were not made by me. I regret the hurt caused to Dhumal by incorrect reporting in the press," he said.

At this, Dhumal said that he did not want to pursue the case. Earlier, Dhumal had told the court that the charges by Amarinder Singh and Vora were false and politically motivated to tarnish his image.

Both had reportedly alleged at an election rally in Hamirpur that Dhumal had amassed assets to the tune of Rs 25 crore through questionable means. In the second defamation case filed in 2003, Dhumal sued Anand Sharma, now Commerce Minister, for releasing a list of assets allegedly owned by Dhumal at a press conference in the state.

That case is still pending in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Dadwal and has been listed for hearing on September 28.

(Agencies)

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