Arvind Kejriwal moves Delhi HC to quash summons against him in defamation case by BJP MLA
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Arvind Kejriwal moves Delhi HC to quash summons against him in defamation case by BJP MLA

Aditi Singh

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has moved the Delhi High Court to quash an order of summons issued against him in connection with a criminal defamation case by BJP MLA Vijender Gupta.

Gupta had filed a criminal defamation case against Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia for tweeting that Gupta and his party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was involved in a conspiracy to assassinate the Delhi Chief Minister.

Appearing for Kejriwal, Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa today argued that in his tweet, Kejriwal had not even mentioned Gupta’s name. Pahwa argued that Kejriwal had not “simply retweeted” a tweet by Sisodia which stated that Gupta was part of the conspiracy to assassinate him, but tagged it along with his own view.

Therefore, it was contended that it was his own statement that should be put against him and not the tweet that he retweeted.

After hearing the counsel, a Single Judge Bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri adjourned the matter.

The Court asked Pahwa to apprise it of the law with respect to retweeting.  Justice Ohri observed that it ought to be seen whether the issue of re-tweet could be decided by the Court under Section 482 CrPC jurisdiction when there was a judgment of the High Court stating that it was a matter of trial.

While campaigning for the Lok Sabha Elections in West Delhi on May 4, Arvind Kejriwal was slapped by a person in the crowd. The Delhi CM subsequently blamed the BJP for this assault. However, Gupta claimed that it was Kejriwal himself who demanded that the security personnel be removed from his vehicle to facilitate the assault. The allegedly defamatory tweets by Kejriwal and Sisodia were made after this claim.

After being summoned by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate at New Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court Complex, Kejriwal was granted bail in the matter on July 17.

The matter will be heard next on August 23.

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