Gujarat: Kejriwal To Skip Hearing In Defamation Case, Seeks....

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Gujarat: Kejriwal To Skip Hearing In Defamation Case, Seeks Documents

| Updated: June 7, 2023 12:40

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, both leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), will not be present at a court hearing in Gujarat on Wednesday. 

On June 7, the two AAP leaders were summoned by the court in the defamation case filed by Gujarat University over their “sarcastic” and “derogatory” statements regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s degree.

The head of the AAP’s legal cell in Gujarat, Pranav Thakkar confirmed that Kejriwal and Singh would not physically appear in court on Wednesday. Instead, they will request access to the necessary documents pertinent to the case. The court had initially summoned the two leaders on April 15, setting the hearing for May 23. However, the summons was reissued, rescheduling their appearance for June 7.

The court arrived at the decision to summon Kejriwal and Singh after finding prima facie evidence of a potential case against them under section 500 of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with criminal defamation. 

Gujarat University’s registrar, Piyush Patel, filed the complaint against the AAP leaders following their remarks subsequent to the Gujarat High Court’s decision to overturn the Chief Information Commissioner’s order regarding PM Modi’s degree.

The defamation complaint alleged that the AAP leaders made “defamatory” and “sarcastic” statements that harmed the university’s reputation. The complaint cited statements such as, “If there is a degree and it is genuine, then why is it not being given?” and “They are not giving degree because it might be fake,” attributed to Kejriwal. Singh was accused of stating that “they (GU) are trying to prove the PM’s fake degree as genuine.” During the court’s preliminary inquiry, four witnesses were examined, and additional evidence was submitted.

The complainant’s lawyer argued that the statements made by Kejriwal and Singh could lead individuals to believe that Gujarat University issues fraudulent degrees.

As the court proceedings unfold, the absence of Kejriwal and Singh will be notable. Their application to obtain pertinent documents suggests a strategic approach to their defense in the defamation case.

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