A sessions court here rejected applications moved by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh for interim stay on trial against them in a criminal defamation case.
The court of sessions judge AJ Kanani rejected the pleas of the AAP leaders for interim stay on trial by the metropolitan court in a criminal defamation case filed by Gujarat University over their “sarcastic” and “derogatory” statements in connection with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s degree.
The court passed its order on Saturday and kept the matter for next hearing on August 21, after respondent Gujarat University sought time, their lawyer Punit Juneja said on Monday.
Kejriwal and Singh had filed a revision application in the sessions court challenging the metropolitan court’s summons in the defamation case and had sought interim relief from the sessions court during the pendency of their main application, which was rejected by the court, Juneja said.
The metropolitan court has directed the two leaders to remain present in the court on August 11 in response to summons issued to them in this connection.
“We had moved an application in the sessions court for interim stay on trial in criminal defamation case sessions going on in the metropolitan court here. The court on Saturday rejected our plea and kept the matter for August 21,” Juneja said.
The court refused to grant them interim relief in the matter on the ground that the two leaders had told the metropolitan court that they will remain present before it on August 11. Juneja said they will seek relief before the Gujarat High Court.
The metropolitan court has summoned the two leaders after observing that prima facie there appeared to be a case against them under section 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Gujarat University Registrar Piyush Patel had filed a defamation case against Kejriwal and Singh over their comments after the Gujarat High Court set aside an order of the Chief Information Commissioner 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 stated.
Their comments targeting Gujarat University were defamatory and hurt the prestige of the university which has established its name among the public, as per the complainant.
Their statements were sarcastic and intended to intentionally hurt the prestige of the university, he said.
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,” etc.
Singh said that “they (GU) are trying to prove the PM’s fake degree as genuine”.
Their statements would make a person believe that GU issues fake and bogus degrees, the complainant said.