Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party’s Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh have not yet received the summons issued to them by a Gujarat court to appear before it on Tuesday in a criminal defamation case, state AAP’s legal cell head said on Monday.
A metropolitan court here on April 15 summoned Kejriwal and Singh to appear before it on May 23 in a criminal defamation complaint filed by the Gujarat University’s registrar.
“We have learnt through media reports that summons were issued by the court, but neither Arvindji nor Sanjay Singh has received them in Delhi yet. They will appear before the court only after receiving the summons,” Gujarat AAP’s legal cell president Pranav Thakkar said.
The court of additional chief metropolitan magistrate Jayesh Chovatiya had issued summons to the senior leaders in a criminal defamation complaint for their “sarcastic” and “derogatory” statements against the Gujarat University over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s academic degree.
The court summoned the two leaders after observing that prima facie, there appeared to be a case against them under section 500 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code.
Gujarat University registrar Piyush Patel filed a defamation case against Kejriwal and Singh over their comments after the Gujarat High Court set aside the Chief Information Commissioner’s order asking the varsity to provide information on PM Modi’s degree.
They made “defamatory” statements in press conferences and on Twitter handles targeting the university over Modi’s degree, the complainant alleged, and claimed their comments targeting the university were defamatory and hurt the prestige of the institution, which has established its name among the public.
The comments quoted by the complainant and attributed to Kejriwal are: “If there is a degree and it is genuine, then why is it not being given?”, “They are not giving degree because it might be fake,” and “If the prime minister studied at Delhi University and Gujarat University, then Gujarat University should celebrate that its student became the country’s PM”.
Singh had said that “they (GU) are trying to prove the PM’s fake degree as genuine”.
Four witnesses were examined and other evidence submitted during the court inquiry, and the lawyer for the complainant argued that their statements would make a person believe that the Gujarat University issues fake and bogus degrees.