The Delhi High Court today sought response of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s plea to expunge remarks made against him by a trial court in a criminal defamation case filed by the BJP leader. Jaitley had filed the criminal defamation complaint alleging that the accused, including Ashutosh, Kumar Vishwas, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chaddha and Deepak Bajpai apart from Kejriwal, had defamed him in a controversy regarding Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) when he headed it for over a decade. A civil defamation suit has also been filed by Jaitley against them in the Delhi High Court in the matter seeking Rs 10 crore as damages.
Justice Mukta Gupta today issued notice to Jaitley and sought his stand regarding Kejriwal’s plea against the trial court’s remarks made while dismissing his application seeking to be heard on the point of framing of notice in the case. The high court will take up this matter on July 13. The trial court, while dismissing the application filed by Kejriwal and the five Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders, had said the plea was “bereft of any merit, mala fide and filed solely with a view to stall” the proceedings. The trial court had dismissed their application on January 30, 2017.
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Kejriwal has also moved another application claiming that some of the alleged remarks attributed to him and other AAP leaders by Jaitley in his criminal defamation case were not defamatory. It was contended by Kejriwal’s lawyers that the remarks attributed to him were taken from news publications and social media extracts. However, as these news reports or social media extracts had not been filed by Kejriwal’s lawyer, the court gave them time till May 22 to file the documents in support of their plea.
The second plea would be taken up for hearing by the court on May 22. In his first plea, Kejriwal had also challenged the trial court’s January 30 order, in which the remarks were made, but his lawyers decided to give up that prayer saying they would file a separate petition on the issue.