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The Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate at New Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court Complex has summoned Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party Leader Arvind Kejriwal and deputy CM Manish Sisodia in connection with a criminal defamation case by BJP MLA Vijender Gupta.
Gupta had filed a criminal defamation case after Kejriwal and Sisodia tweeted that Gupta along with his party, the Bharatiya Janta Party, was involved in a conspiracy to assassinate Kejriwal.
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 analyzing the evidence in support of the complaint, Judge Samar Vishal ordered,
“.. allegations of the respondents are prima facie defamatory and refers to complainant Mr. Vijender Gupta making him an aggrieved person within the meaning of section 199 Cr.P.C. The inquiry as contemplated under section 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure has been duly conducted by examining the complainant and his witnesses to arrive at the conclusion for this stage of the case. Therefore, in view of the aforesaid discussion there exists sufficient grounds to proceed against the respondents Sh. Arvind Kejriwal and Sh. Manish Sisodia under section 500 IPC. Accordingly, Sh. Arvind Kejriwal and Sh. Manish Sisodia are summoned for commission of offence of defamation under section 500 of the Indian Penal Code.”
The court has further clarified that the entire burden to plead and prove the defence would be on the respondents, Kejriwal and Sisodia.
Kejriwal and Sisodia are required to appear before the court on July 16.
Last week, the ACMM had framed charges against Kejriwal and Sisodia in connection with a dharna/protest at Rail Bhawan, New Delhi in January 2014.