The Delhi Patiala House Court has given a big blow to the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal by putting him on a trial in the defamation case against the current Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. He will now have to justify his comments on Arun Jaitley and will have to tell on what grounds those remarks were made. The court has framed charges against 5 other Aam Aadmi Party leaders after they pleaded not guilty. The trial will start on 20th May.
Chief metropolitan magistrate (CMM) Sumit Dass framed notice against Kejriwal and other AAP leaders - Ashutosh, Kumar Vishwas, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chaddha and Deepak Bajpai - after they pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.
Earlier, the Delhi high court had dismissed Kejriwal's plea seeking details of bank accounts, tax returns and other financial records of finance minister Arun Jaitley in the defamation case.
The high court said that Kejriwal's plea, which also sought the bank statements of Jaitley's family members and companies in which he or they had over 10 per cent shareholding, was a "fishing or roving enquiry" and did not have any merit.
Jaitley had filed the defamation suit in 2015 seeking Rs 10 crore damages from Kejriwal and AAP leaders Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpayee, claiming that they made "false and defamatory" statements in the case involving DDCA, thereby harming his reputation.
The AAP leaders had allegedly attacked Jaitley and his family members in various fora, including social media, over alleged irregularities and financial bungling in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), of which he was the president for about 13 years till 2013.
Earlier this month, Arvind Kejriwal was also summoned as accused by a Delhi Court in a criminal defamation complaint filed by Rajya Sabha MP Subhash Chandra. "Clearly there is sufficient material on record to summon accused Arvind Kejriwal of the offence punishable under section 500 (defamation) of Indian Penal Code,” said the Metropolitan Magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria asking the Chief Minister to appear before the Court. Chandra had accused Kejriwal of allegedly defaming him by levelling false allegations in the wake of demonetisation.