Court refuses to stay defamation case against Kejriwal, 5 others

New Delhi: A court here today rejected the plea of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to stay the proceedings in a criminal defamation case filed against him and five other AAP leaders by Union minister Arun Jaitley.

The application moved by senior advocate Ram Jethmalani on behalf of Kejriwal before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass said there are two cases—one civil and the other criminal—filed against the AAP leaders on same allegations and one of them should be stayed.

“Adjourn the matter, so that I can approach the High Court in this regard… I don’t want to face both the cases simultaneously,” Jethmalani said.

The court, however, rejected the plea saying, “The matter has to proceed further… the application is dismissed. Put up for further hearing on July 16 for framing notice.”

The court, meanwhile, directed the complainant’s counsel to supply the copies of the documents, filed along with the complaint, to the accused persons.

“In the larger interest of justice and to cut short the controversy, copies be supplied today itself,” the court said.

The application seeking documents was moved by senior advocate H S Phoolka, appearing for one of the AAP leaders, who said that legible documents were not given to them.

Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Jaitley, however, claimed all the documents have been supplied to the accused persons (AAP leaders) and “they are just trying to delay the proceedings… The documents sought by the accused persons are not a part of the complaint.”

He said, “They (accused) have come with a fictitious story that the copies were not complete,” and requested the court to conduct day-to-day proceedings in the case.

During the proceedings, Kejriwal, AAP leaders Kumar Vishwas and Raghav Chadha were present in the court room.

The court had on April 7 granted bail to Kejriwal and AAP leaders Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Vishwas, Chadha and Deepak Bajpai.

Jaitley had filed the criminal defamation complaint alleging Kejriwal and the five AAP leaders had allegedly defamed him in Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) controversy.

While recording his statement, Jaitley, who was the DDCA president from December 1999 to December 2013, said the claims against him and his family members lowered his dignity in the eyes of the public, adding their statements were false.

Jaitley had on December 21, 2015 filed the criminal defamation case against them and sought their prosecution for offences that entail a punishment of up to two years in jail.

Besides the criminal defamation case, Jaitley has also filed a civil defamation suit before the Delhi High Court seeking Rs 10 crore in damages from Kejriwal and the five AAP leaders, for issuing allegedly false and defamatory statements against him and his family in connection with alleged irregularities in DDCA when he was its President.