The Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted an exemption to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal from appearing in person before the trial court during the hearing of the criminal defamation case against him. The High Court asked Kejriwal to give an undertaking before the trial court saying that had no objection if the case proceeds in his absence. The High court, however, also noted that if the trial court felt that its proceedings were delayed, it had the liberty to modify the HC’s order of granting the exemption to the Delhi Chief Minister.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had dismissed a plea filed by the Delhi CM that sought a stay on the criminal defamation case filed against him by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Kejriwal had contended before the apex court that since a civil suit was already pending before the Delhi High Court, the proceedings before the trial court should be stayed. Kejriwal was of the opinion that both the cases should not proceed simultaneously.
Earlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had filed a lawsuit seeking Rs 10 crore in damages against the Delhi CM after Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party leaders had accused him of irregularities and financial bungling in the DDCA. Jaitley was the President of the DDCA for 13 years till 2013. Arun Jaitley had filed a criminal defamation case against Arvind Kejriwal and 5 other AAP leaders in the Patiala House Court, while a civil defamation case had been filed in the Delhi High Court.