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The Delhi High Court today issued notice in a plea by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to quash an order of summons issued against him in connection with a criminal defamation case by BJP MLA Vijender Gupta.
Notice was issued to the State of NCT of Delhi and Vijender Gupta by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri.
The Court has, however, not imposed a stay on the trial court proceedings.
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), were 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 Chief Minister subsequently blamed the BJP for this assault. However, Gupta claimed that it was Kejriwal himself who had demanded that the security personnel be removed from his vehicle in order to facilitate the assault. The allegedly defamatory tweets by Kejriwal and Sisodia were made after this claim.
It is Kejriwal’s case that his tweet has no reference to Vijender Gupta. It was argued that Kejriwal had not “simply retweeted” a tweet by Sisodia which stated that Gupta was part of the conspiracy to assassinate him. Instead, Kejriwal argued that he had only tagged Sisodia’s tweet along with his own view.
Therefore, it was contended that it is Kejriwal’s statement that should be put against him and not the tweet that he had retweeted.
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.
Kejriwal was represented by Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa.
The matter will be heard next on November 20.