Delhi court summons Arvind Kejriwal in a criminal defamation case filed against him by Nitin Gadkari

published on February 28, 2014
NEW DELHI: Former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was on Friday summoned by a trial court as an accused in a criminal defamation case filed against him by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari.

The court said the statements allegedly made by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader — he had included Gadkari’s name in the party’s list of “India’s most corrupt” — have the effect of “harming the reputation” of the complainant.

Metropolitan magistrate Gomati Manocha summoned Kejriwal as an accused on April 7, saying, “In these circumstances, this court is prima facie satisfied that there is sufficient material on record to proceed against the accused for the offence under section 499/500 (defamation) IPC.”

The magistrate added, “In view of the testimony of the witnesses, including the deposition of the complainant (Gadkari) and other evidence produced on record, the impugned statements allegedly made by Kejriwal have the effect of harming the reputation of the complainant and lowering his estimation in the eyes of others”.

The court also referred to a judgment passed recently by the Delhi high court, saying, “Also in view of the judgment of the HC….this court shall at the time of framing of notice, once again consider the material before it and shall hear the accused on whether an offence has been committed which can be legally tried”.

Senior advocate Pinki Anand and advocate Ajay Digpaul, who appeared for Gadkari, had earlier told the court that Kejriwal had made the statement against the BJP leader with a “mala fide intention” to tarnish the image and to lower the dignity of their client.

The court, in its order summoning Kejriwal as an accused, also said, “These statements (made allegedly by Kejriwal) were widely telecast/published. Also, it has been alleged that these statements are false and were made maliciously in order to get political mileage and media attention without there being any basis for making these statements.”

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