Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has “crossed all limits of decency” by allegedly using the insulting word ‘Thulla’ for Delhi policemen in an interview, a policeman told the Delhi High Court on Wednesday. In his reply filed before Justice Mukta Gupta, Delhi police constable Anil Kumar Taneja sought dismissal of a plea filed by Kejriwal seeking stay and setting aside of a trial court’s order summoning him in a criminal defamation complaint against him.
Taneja, who has filed the criminal defamation complaint against the AAP leader, claimed that by referring to policemen as ‘Thulla’, Kejriwal “has intentionally insulted the entire Delhi Police force as a whole and caused unnecessary provocation to the police personnel in Delhi”. “Being Chief Minister of Delhi, which is a constitutional position, the petitioner (Kejriwal) has immense influence and reach across public domain. His words definitely impact the public at large and the personnel of Delhi Police.
“Therefore, by using such a derogatory and insulting word, he (Kejriwal) has crossed all limits of decency while uttering such words on a famous national hindi news channel, that too in an interview being telecast at prime time…,” he said in his reply filed through advocate L N Rao.
Seeking dismissal of Kejriwal’s plea, Taneja claimed that the word uttered by the Chief Minister was sufficient to harm his reputation in the eyes of the general public and “lowered the image” of Delhi Police as a whole. “This remark ‘Thulla’ uttered by the petitioner (Kejriwal) has not only maligned the reputation of the respondent number one (Taneja) but also degraded the image and reputation of entire Delhi Police in the eyes of the general public and in the society as a whole,” the reply said.
Meanwhile, during the hearing, the counsel appearing for Kejriwal sought more time to file an affidavit in the matter. The court fixed the matter for hearing on February 21 next year. The court had earlier issued notice to the constable and sought his response on the Chief Minister’s plea. The high court in July had asked Kejriwal to explain the meaning of word ‘thulla’ he allegedly used against policemen while staying the trial court’s order.
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The word used by Kejriwal was a Hindi word and the high court wanted to know its meaning as it does not exist in the dictionary. Earlier, Kejriwal’s counsel had told the court that the word ‘Thulla’ was not used against all policemen but against those indulging in wrong practices. In the complaint filed on July 23 last year before the trial court, Taneja had claimed that Kejriwal had used the “derogatory” term for policemen on a news channel while talking about the AAP government’s “constraints” in ensuring effective functioning of the Anti-Corruption Branch.
“If a word like ‘thulla’ is used by an eminent personality like Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to refer to personnel of Delhi Police, then the general public too would have no respect or regard for police personnel who dedicate their entire lives to maintain law and order in Delhi,” the plea had said. The constable had earlier claimed to have called the office and residence of Kejriwal and also on the helpline numbers to talk to him, but there was no “positive response”.