New Delhi: A court here on Thursday refused to stay a criminal defamation suit filed by union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders in the wake of DDCA controversy.
The court, however, allowed Kejriwal to approach the Delhi High Court to seek relief in the case.
Kejriwal’s counsel, while moving an application, told the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass that a civil defamation case was filed by Jaitley in the Delhi High Court also on similar facts.
In his plea, Kejriwal had sought adjournment in the case pending in the district court until the high court decided the civil defamation suit and to enable him approach the high court for relief.
The court said that damages on account of civil as well as criminal defamation stand on different footing and can be tried simultaneously.
The court adjourned the matter to July 16 for further arguments and said Kejriwal’s plea will be heard on the next date of hearing.
The court directed the complainant to supply another set of documents to the accused after the defence counsel said that documents supplied earlier are not legible.
Jaitley filed a defamation case against Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party leaders Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpayee that they made “false and defamatory” statements in a case involving the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), thereby harming his reputation.
He said the AAP leaders made the statements to deflect public attention from a Central Bureau of Investigation probe against a civil servant working with Kejriwal.
Kejiwal, Kumar Vishwas, Chadha and Bajpayee were present during Thursday’s hearing while Ashutosh and Sanjay Singh were granted exemption from personal appeareance.
The court allowed Jaitley’s plea seeking exemption from personal appearance on account of discharge of his official duties.