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Court dismisses plea against Kejriwal, other AAP leaders for defaming Modi

Delhi court said only aggrieved persons can file defamation complaints and dismissed a plea seeking prosecution of CM Kejriwal, deputy CM Manish Sisodia and AAP leaders Ashutosh, Raghav Chadha, Ashish Khetan and Jitender Singh Tomar for ‘defaming’ PM Modi over his educational degree.

india Updated: Apr 25, 2018 19:40 IST
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Arvind Kejriwal,Narendra Modi,fake degree
The complainants alleged that AAP leaders tarnished the image of PM Narendra Modi in May 2016 by showing false degrees in press conferences and print and other social media.(PTI/File Photo)

A Delhi court has dismissed a plea seeking prosecution of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and others for allegedly defaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi by raising questions over his educational degree, saying only aggrieved persons can file defamation complaints.

Three persons — Yogesh Bhardwaj, Rakshpal Singh and Ijharul-Haq — had moved court seeking an order asking police to lodge an FIR against Kejriwal, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and Aam Aadmi Party leaders Ashutosh, Raghav Chadha, Ashish Khetan and Jitender Singh Tomar, for allegedly defaming Modi.

“Only an aggrieved person, that is a person who has been defamed, can prosecute for his defamation. Admittedly, the complainants are not the aggrieved/victims of defamatory statements, if any, made by the respondents (Kejriwal, Sisodia, Ashutosh, Chadha, Khetan and Tomar). Therefore, they have no locus to file and prosecute the present case as far as the offence of defamation is concerned,” additional chief metropolitan magistrate Samar Vishal said while summarily rejecting the complaint.

The court also noted that the complainants had not given any thought on what offence they were alleging against the respondents persons.

“The complainants state in the heading of the complaint, the commission of following other offences, that is 504, 467, 465, 468, 469 and 34 (common intention) of Indian Penal Code but did not elaborate how these offences are made out in this case. All these offences except 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of IPC relates to the offence of forgery,” it said.

The court also said that no offence for forgery could be attributed to the respondents as the complainants did not place on record the document which has been forged. Regarding section 504, the court said there was nothing in the complaint to substantiate this charge.

“The complaint has no merits. Not only on merits that no case is made out, but also for want of locus to prosecute, I refuse to direct registration of FIR and refuse to take cognisance of the offence under section 499, 500, 504, 467, 465, 468, 469 and 34 of IPC against the respondents. The complaint is accordingly dismissed,” the court said.

The complaint had alleged that the respondents had defamed the Prime Minister in May 2016 on the issue of his degrees and tarnished his image by showing his false degrees in press conferences and print and other social media.

However, the University of Delhi on May 11, 2016 made the Prime Minister’s degrees public which had exposed the false propaganda of the accused persons, it had said. The complainants also claimed to have approached the police which did not take any step against the accused persons.

First Published: Apr 25, 2018 19:40 IST