- The court had directed the two AAP leaders and Yogendra Yadav to appear before the court on 8 August
- Criminal defamation complaint filed against the two AAP leaders
- Articles in leading newspapers carried defamatory, unlawful and derogatory words used by the accused persons
New Delhi, August 12, 2017: In a criminal defamation complaint the Delhi court on 8 August has fixed August 23 as the date for framing charges against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia. Pranjal Aneja, Metropolitan Magistrate, was scheduled to frame charges on 8 August but was on a leave that day.
Earlier, the court had directed the two AAP leaders and Yogendra Yadav to appear before the court on 8 August. Though Kejriwal and Sisodia sought exemption stating that they have to attend the four-day Monsoon session of Delhi Assembly, Yadav was there in the court.
The court on August 2 had passed the order on framing of notice (charge) on the criminal defamation complaint filed against the two AAP leaders, who sought to quash of the plea and Yadav by advocate Surender Kumar Sharma (was denied ticket by the AAP).Yadav was a member of the National Executive of the AAP until 2015, after which he was expelled for alleged anti-party activities. Later, he formed his own party called Swaraj India.
Surender Kumar Sharma, in his complaint, had alleged that in 2013 he was approached by volunteers of AAP who had asked him to contest the Delhi Assembly elections on a party ticket, saying Kejriwal was pleased with his social services. He filled up the application form to contest for the polls after being told by Sisodia and Yadav that AAP’s Political Affairs Committee had decided to give him the ticket. However, the ticket was later denied to him.
On October 14, 2013, the complainant claimed, articles in leading newspapers carried “defamatory, unlawful and derogatory words used by the accused persons” which in turn have lowered his reputation in the Bar as well as the society.
Opposing to the complaint, the AAP leaders had submitted that cancellation or allotment of an election ticket is the decision of the party only and gave a reasoning that the complainant had not divulged correct information regarding the cases pending against him.
On the basis of this complaint, the trial court had earlier sought their presence before it in the matter. It, however, had granted bail to Kejriwal, Sisodia, and Yadav, after they had appeared before it in pursuance to summonses against them.
The court has said in the order that the contentions on behalf of accused persons do not sustain and it proceeded to frame notice under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) against them.
The summonses were issued on the complaint under – sections 499, 500 (defamation) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC, with the trial court saying there was prima facie material to summon the accused.
While issuing summonses against AAP leaders, according to PTI report, the trial court had said, “The press release published in newspapers, as well as testimonies of witnesses, reflect that defamatory remarks were published in the newspaper which affected the reputation of the complainant in the society and lowered his reputation in the eyes of other members of the society.” The Delhi High Court had earlier refused to stay the trial court proceedings in the case.
– prepared by Kritika Dua of NewsGram. Twitter @DKritika08
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