New Delhi: A local court here on Monday deferred hearing in a criminal defamation complaint against filed against state's Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal and his two senior party colleagues and posted the matter for next hearing on May 2.
The court earlier pulled up Kejriwal, his deputy in the Delhi government Manish Sisodia and party colleague Yogendra Yadav for their non-appearance before it in connection with the case.
The court of Metropolitan Magistrate Muneesh Garg today asked the ruling AAP to explain why no reasons were given for Kejriwal's absence in connection with the case. Slamming the AAP leaders, the court further said, “Kejriwal, Sisodia and Yadav have no respect for the law”.
The court then directed Kejriwal, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and senior AAP leader Yogendra Yadav to appear before it at 2 pm in connection with the case.
The AAP leaders - Kejriwal, Sisodia and Yadav – had sought exemption from personal appearance for the day, citing lawyers' strike.
The court had earlier asked the trio to appear before it today (March 17) as it is scheduled to pronounce its order on the issue of framing of charges against them in a criminal defamation complaint.
Kejriwal, Sisodia and Yogendra Yadav were released on bail after they had appeared in the court on June 4 last year in pursuance to summons against them by the court.
The summons to them were issued on the complaint of Advocate Surender Kumar Sharma under Sections 499, 500 (defamation) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC, with the court, saying there was prima facie material to summon the accused.
While issuing summons against AAP leaders, the court had said, “The press release published in newspapers as well as testimonies of witnesses reflect that defamatory remarks were published in the newspaper which affected the reputation of the complainant in the society and lowered his reputation in the eyes of other members of the society.”
The court, however, had rejected the complainant’s plea that AAP leaders had conspired and cheated him, saying in the absence of the very element of deception, there was no prima facie material against any of the accused for the offence of cheating and criminal conspiracy.
Sharma had alleged that in 2013 he was approached by volunteers of AAP ,who had asked him to contest Delhi Assembly Election on a party ticket, saying Kejriwal was pleased with his social services.
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.