Monday, May 28, 2018 | Last Update : 08:53 AM IST
The court was hearing a petition filed by the two AAP leaders, who sought quashing of the criminal defamation complaint filed by the advocate.
New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Wednesday summoned the trial court records of a criminal defamation case filed against chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and deputy CM Manish Sisodia.
Justice I.S. Mehta called for the case records, while hearing a plea by the two AAP leaders challenging a trial court order summoning them as accused in a defamation complaint filed against them by an advocate. The two leaders, along with Yogendra Yadav, were put on trial last month by the lower court, slated to frame defamation charges against them tomorrow in the case.
The high court, which listed the matter for further hearing on December 20, also observed that the complainant advocate does not have any direct evidence in the case. It observed that the magistrate should have first satisfied himself whether a defamation case was made out.
Senior advocate Rebecca John, appearing for Mr Kejriwal and Mr Sisodia, argued that there was no direct evidence against them and the complainant’s case was based on a press release issued by the AAP and some news articles. “This provision (defamation) has become a joke and (there is a) need to control this,” she said.
She argued that the magistrate should not have entertained the complaint filed by advocate Surender Sharma as he had gone to court only with documents of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) press release and newspaper clippings and that he has “not come to the court with clean hands”.
Ruling out the role playwed by the party leaders in the said case, she said Mr Sharma was aggrieved by the headlines in the media and had not made them an accused.
The court was hearing a petition filed by the two AAP leaders, who sought quashing of the criminal defamation complaint filed by the advocate. Besides Mr Kejriwal and Mr Sisodia, the complainant has also named Yogendra Yadav in his complaint.
Mr Yadav was a member of the AAP’s national executive until 2015 when he was expelled for alleged “anti-party activities”. Later, the expelled AAP leader floated his own party Swaraj India.
Mr Sharma had alleged that in 2013, he was approached by the AAP volunteers who had asked him to contest the Delhi Assembly elections on a AAP ticket, saying Mr Kejriwal was pleased with his social services. Mr Sharma filled up the application form to contest the polls, only to come to know later that the party ticket was denied to him.