Delhi court directs Arvind Kejriwal, others to appear in defamation case

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A Delhi court has directed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia to appear before it “without any failure” on December 3 in a criminal defamation complaint filed in 2013 by a ticket aspirant for the assembly elections.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey directed Kejriwal, Sisodia and Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav to appear before the court while granting them exemption on November 25 for the day. Yadav was then in the Aam Aadmi Party.

The court was hearing an application filed by Yogesh Gaur, the legal heir of the complainant Surender Kumar Sharma, who died recently. In his application, Gaur has sought substitution of the name of complainant. “All the three accused persons are exempted through their counsel for today (Nov 25) only and they are directed to join the proceedings on the next date of hearing without any failure,” the court said.

In their application seeking adjournment, the counsel for Kejriwal and Sisodia also told the court that their main advocate was suffering from COVID-19. The judge posted the matter for further hearing on December 3.

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 said he filled up the application form to contest the polls after being told by Sisodia and Yadav that AAP’s Political Affairs Committee had decided to give him the ticket. However, it was later denied to him.

On October 14, 2013, the complainant claimed that articles in leading newspapers carried “defamatory, unlawful and derogatory words used by the accused persons” which have lowered his reputation in the Bar and the society.

Opposing the complaint, the accused had submitted that cancellation or allotment of an election ticket was the prerogative of the party and the complainant had not divulged correct information regarding the cases pending against him.

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