Criminal defamation complaint: Court to frame charges against Kejriwal, Sisodia on Aug 23
The court had on August 2 passed order on framing of notice (charge) on the criminal defamation complaint filed against the two Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders and former party member Yogendra Yadav by advocate Surender Kumar Sharma.delhi Updated: Aug 09, 2017 11:08 IST
A Delhi court on Tuesday fixed August 23 for framing charges against chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia in a criminal defamation complaint filed by advocate Surender Kumar Sharma.
Metropolitan magistrate Pranjal Aneja, who was scheduled to frame charges on Tuesday, was on leave.
The court had on August 2 passed order on framing of notice (charge) on the criminal defamation complaint filed against the two Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders and former party member Yogendra Yadav.
Yadav was a member of the National Executive of the AAP until 2015, when he was expelled for alleged anti-party activities. Later, he floated his own party — Swaraj India.
Sharma, in his complaint, alleged that in 2013 he was approached by volunteers of AAP who asked him to contest the Delhi Assembly elections on a party ticket, saying Kejriwal was impressed with his social services. He filled 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 society.
Opposing the complaint, the AAP leaders had submitted that cancellation or allotment of an election ticket is the prerogative of the party and the complainant had not divulged correct information about the cases pending against him.
The trial court had earlier granted bail to Kejriwal, Sisodia and Yadav, after they had appeared before it in pursuance to the summons issued against them.
The summons were issued on the complaint under sections 499, 500 (defamation) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC, with the trial court saying that there was prima facie material to summon the accused.
Court reserves order
A city court on Tuesday reserved its order on whether to summon Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) spokesperson Sanjay Singh on a civil defamation plea of a BJP youth wing leader seeking Re 1 as compensation from them.
The court heard the submissions of the counsel for the plaintiff and listed the matter for August 23 for clarifications and pronouncing its order.
Ankit Bhardwaj, the state executive member of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), a youth wing of BJP, has filed the civil defamation suit before the court seeking only Re 1 in damages from Kejriwal and Singh for allegedly sharing his pictures in media and falsely declaring him as the one who slapped former water minister Kapil Mishra when the latter was on hunger strike on May 10.
“The plaintiff (Ankit Bhardwaj) assess the damages at Rs 1 crore but the plaintiff has no knowledge of any valuable assets of the defendants (Singh and Kejriwal) so the plaintiff limits his claim to Re 1,” reads the civil suit.
Bhardwaj claimed that the AAP leaders had wrongly accused him in media of assaulting Mishra while the person apprehended from the spot for the alleged offence belonged to their own party.
In the complaint, Bhardwaj has claimed that Singh showed his Facebook profile picture on different news channels and declared him as the accused. He has further claimed that Kejriwal re-tweeted a tweet quoting him as the accused.
“It was revealed to the plaintiff (Bhardwaj) that the name of the person who attacked Kapil Mishra was also Ankit Bhardwaj. It is pertinent that the person who attacked was apprehended at the spot and the incident as well as his arrest has been captured and broadcasted. The person apprehended at the spot was clearly saying that he was an Aam Aadmi Party volunteer. He came on his own and slapped Kapil Mishra for betraying the party,” reads the civil suit.
Besides the civil defamation suit, Bhardwaj has also filed a criminal defamation complaint against Kejriwal and Singh.