New Delhi: A sessions court in New Delhi has asked a magisterial court to hear afresh a defamation complaint filed against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and its leaders including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Additional Sessions Judge Dinesh Kumar Sharma set aside the November 14 last year judgement passed by the magisterial court which had dismissed the complaint filed by the CEO of a news portal against Kejriwal and five others, including the party.

The sessions court passed the order on a revision petition filed by Anuranjan Jha, CEO of news portal Media Sarkar, and directed the complainant to appear before the magisterial court on April 20.

“Vide separate detailed order the impugned order dated November 14, 2014 is set aside and the matter is remanded back to the trial court. The complainant is directed to appear before the trial court on April 20,” the judge said.

The sessions court on April 8 had reserved its order on the plea challenging the magisterial court’s verdict.

Jha had challenged the magisterial court’s last year’s order dismissing his criminal defamation complaint against AAP, Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Kumar Vishwas, Yogendra Yadav and Shazia Ilmi.

The magistrate had dismissed the plea on the ground that despite providing sufficient opportunities to Jha to lead pre-summoning evidence in support of his plea, he opted not to do so. Jha had only examined himself in support of his plea.

In his revision petition, Jha has said the magistrate had failed to appreciate that from his sworn statements and the documents produced by him, it was clear that the leaders had made alleged defamatory imputations against him.

Earlier in 2013, AAP had also filed a criminal defamation complaint against Jha for releasing a “doctored” video before the then assembly elections allegedly showing some party candidates accepting funds through illegal means.

The sting operation alleged that several AAP leaders, who were contacted for their help in recovering money from some individuals and getting some controversial land deals through, readily agreed to extend their support in return of cash donations for the party.

The charges were dismissed as baseless by AAP.

Jha had in November 2013 filed a similar complaint against AAP and some of its leaders before a magisterial court alleging that they had defamed him.

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