Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other leaders of his party will stand trial in a criminal defamation case filed by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley.
A city court framed notices on Saturday against Kejriwal, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chaddha and Deepak Bajpai. The accused have pleaded not guilty and trial is expected to commence on May 20.
In December 2015, Jaitley filed a criminal complaint alleging that the Aam Aadmi Party leaders made defaming statements against him regarding his tenure as the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) president from December 1999 to December 2013.
“The criminal complaint for defamation has been filed against the six accused because they had given defamatory statements against Arun Jaitley on Twitter, Facebook and in the media,” said Jaitley’s counsel Sidharth Luthra.
Jaitley has also filed a civil defamation case, demanding Rs 10 crore in damages, for the allegations made by Kejriwal and others. The CM has refused to retract the allegations and asked for bank statements of Jaitley and his family – permission for which was denied by the court.
Jaitley’s lawyers have said that the accused were delaying proceedings of the matter by filing frivolous applications, some of which have been dismissed in the high court.
“Again on Saturday, frivolous objections were taken to delay the case which was dismissed by the court and the notices were framed against the accused,” said Luthra.