AHMEDABAD — The Gujarat High Court on Friday declined to grant any interim relief to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh.
Both the politicians had sought an interim stay on proceedings in a criminal defamation complaint filed by Gujarat University until the disposal of their revision plea challenging the summons issued to them.
Justice Samir J. Dave passed the order after hearing arguments from Senior Advocate Mihir Joshi, counsel for Arvind Kejriwal, and Public Prosecutor Mitesh Amin.
The defamation case emanates from derogatory statements allegedly made by Kejriwal and Singh concerning Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s academic degree.
A metropolitan court in Ahmedabad had summoned both the politicians on August 11 in the case.
On August 5, the City Civil & Sessions Court Ahmedabad had rejected their plea to stay the proceedings in the trial pending the disposal of their revision plea.
In response, both AAP leaders approached the Gujarat High Court, praying for an expeditious hearing of their revision plea.
During the arguments, senior advocate Joshi maintained that personal appearances are typically dispensed with in summons cases, especially when a Constitutional Functionary is involved. He also argued that the delay was attributable to the complainant (Gujarat University) and not to Kejriwal.
Joshi expressed his opinion that since the order of the Magistrate’s court issuing summons had been challenged, the Sessions Court should have stayed the defamation case proceedings until the revision plea’s disposal.
However, the bench noted that Kejriwal himself had given an undertaking to appear, and therefore, he should not avoid appearing before the Court. Senior advocate Joshi responded that this undertaking doesn’t deprive Kejriwal of filing a revision plea, and in these circumstances, the proceedings should have been stayed by the sessions court. — IANS