A Delhi court on Monday framed defamation charges against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal in a case filed by chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s political secretary. The case was filed for Kejriwal’s alleged remarks against her during power tariff hike protests in October 2012.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Sanjay Bansal said prima facie defamation charges were made out against Kejriwal and put him on trial after he pleaded not guilty. The court fixed January 18, 2014, for recording of evidence in the case.
Complainant Pawan Khera, officer on special duty and political secretary of Dikshit, had filed the defamation case against Kejriwal, saying he had used “false and filthy” language against the chief minister in a television show.
While framing defamation charges against Kejriwal, the court said the AAP leader had defamed Khera and he spoke the defamatory word with an intention to harm his reputation. “By use of the said word..., you defamed complainant Khera who has been working as OSD/political secretary to Sheila Dikshit. You spoke the said word... intending to harm or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputations will harm the reputation of complainant Khera and thus you defamed complainant and thereby you committed offence punishable under Section 500 (defamation) of the IPC and within my cognizance.
“Show cause why you should not be punished for the offence or do you have any defence to make,” the CMM said.
Pleading not guilty, Kejriwal said Khera was not an aggrieved person and the complaint against him was false.
“My accusation is well covered under exceptions first, second, third and ninth of Section 499 of the IPC. I have placed on record my detailed application in my defence. I also seek leave of this court to make any other defence available to me. This complaint against me is false,” Kejriwal said.