Supreme Court Grants Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Time to Resolve Defamation Dispute

In a significant development, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal received relief from the Supreme Court in a defamation case involving the retweet of a video by YouTuber Dhruv Rathee. On Monday, the court extended its interim order and directed the trial court to avoid taking any harsh steps against Kejriwal in the defamation case filed over the video.

During the hearing, the plaintiff’s lawyer, Raghav Awasthi, informed Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Deepankar Datta that the court had previously advised exploring a settlement, and a message to this effect had been sent to Kejriwal’s lawyer, who had not yet responded.

The next hearing is scheduled for August 12. The bench stated that the interim stay issued previously would continue until further orders.

In February, the Supreme Court had directed a temporary halt to the trial court’s proceedings, asking the plaintiff whether the case could be dismissed based on an admission of error by Kejriwal. The plaintiff’s lawyer had agreed to this. This development followed Kejriwal’s lawyer’s assertion in the Supreme Court that the allegedly defamatory video being presented again was spurious, and they wished to close the case.

Moreover, Kejriwal had approached the Supreme Court challenging a May 2018 decision by the Delhi High Court, which had refused to quash a summons issued in another criminal defamation case.

The case revolves around a 2018 tweet by Dhruv Rathee accusing a page named “I Support Narendra Modi” of functioning similarly to a BJP IT cell, which Kejriwal had retweeted. Subsequently, the founder of the account filed a defamation petition against the Delhi Chief Minister.

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