The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday refused to grant an urgent hearing to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders Arvind Kejriwal and Sanjay Singh on pleas seeking to quash summons in a criminal defamation case filed over their remarks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s educational degree.
Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal and AAP Rajya Sabha member Singh have challenged before the HC the September 14 order of the sessions court dismissing their revision applications against the trial court’s summons in the criminal defamation case filed by the Gujarat University.
Justice Samir Dave refused to grant priority hearing to the matter listed in the HC on Tuesday after Kejriwal’s advocate Percy Kavina mentioned it with a request to take it up on an urgent basis.
The matter has now been listed for hearing on September 29.
On two earlier occasions also, the HC had refused to grant urgent hearing on the pleas of the AAP leaders.
Sessions court judge JM Brahmbhatt had in an order earlier upheld the decision of the trial court to summon the two leaders and said its order was “neither illegal nor erroneous”.
The metropolitan court here had summoned Kejriwal and Singh on April 15 in the defamation case filed by the Gujarat University over their “sarcastic” and “derogatory” statements in connection with PM’s degree.
Gujarat University registrar Piyush Patel had filed a defamation case against the two AAP leaders over their comments after the High Court set aside an order of the Chief Information Commissioner on Modi’s degree.
The two politicians made “defamatory” statements at press conferences and also on their Twitter (now X) handles targeting the university over Modi’s degree, the complainant
Their statements were sarcastic in nature and intentionally made to hurt the prestige of the university, which has established its name among people, it stated.
The two leaders had filed revision applications in the sessions court challenging the summons issued by the metropolitan court.
However, the sessions court on August 7 rejected their plea for an interim stay on the trial after which they approached the HC.
The high court also refused to entertain Kejriwal and Singh’s plea for interim stay on the trial, prompting them to move the Supreme Court, where, too, they failed to get any relief.
The high court later directed the sessions court to conclude hearing within ten days after assigning the matter to a new bench, which upheld issuance of the summons, leading the two AAP leaders to move the HC again.