Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia exonerated in 2013 defamation case
In the case filed by late lawyer Surendra Sharma, Kejriwal and Sisodia's former AAP colleague, Yogendra Yadav, too, received a clean chit from the court.
New Delhi: A Delhi court on Saturday exonerated state chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia in a criminal defamation case, filed by late lawyer Surendra Sharma in 2013. Former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member Yogender Yadav, meanwhile, was given a clean chit in the case.
Sharma had filed the defamation case against Kejriwal, Sisodia and Yadav, stating that several AAP volunteers approached him in 2013 and urged to contest the Delhi assembly elections, as the senior party leaders agreed to his candidature. AAP, however, cancelled his candidature for the assembly elections at the last moment, he had alleged.
He had alleged that three AAP leaders also made “defamatory, unlawful and derogatory comments” on him, “marring his image in the bar and otherwise”. Earlier this year, Sharma died, and his nephew is pursuing the case now, said officials.
Additional chief metropolitan magistrate (ACMM) Vidhi Gupta on Saturday exonerated the three political leaders, observing that “news articles that were published during the time of the incident, as was cited by the late complainant, did not establish a case of defamation”. “In the case at hand, even though the complainant alleged that the accused defamed the former by getting the alleged news articles published on October 14, 2013, he has been unable to prove it on record that the accused either authored or authorised the issuance of alleged press release dated October 13, 2013,” said the ACMM in his 81-page order.
“Quality and relevancy, and not quantity of evidence, is what determines the fate of a case. Culpability can be attached to the accused only if it is proved that they committed the alleged offence, which in this case, the complainant failed to do despite efforts... The court cannot hold the accused guilty in the case.”
Meanwhile, another city court on Saturday reserved its order on the bail application of Poonam Jain, wife of AAP MLA Satyendar Jain, in connection to a money laundering case. Special judge Geetanjali Goel ruled that the interim bail granted to Poonam in the case shall be till the next date of hearing the case, which has been set on August 23.
The case is based on a 2017 FIR lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation against minister Jain. ED has accused him of having laundered money through four companies allegedly linked to him and in which he was holding shares, while amassing wealth disproportionate to his income. Jain was arrested on May 30, 2022, and was sent to police custody and thereafter to judicial custody.
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