Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was today granted exemption from personal appearance for the day by a court here in a criminal defamation complaint filed by Union minister Arun Jaitley against him and others. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass fixed the matter for October 24 after counsel for Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders, who are also accused in the case, submitted that its earlier order refusing to stay proceedings in the case, has been challenged in the Delhi High Court.
The court, which was told that Kejriwal could not appear today as he has undergone throat surgery in Bengaluru, directed that the matter be put up on the next date after Jaitley’s counsel said he has no objection if the matter was heard after the high court’s decision. The court also allowed the exemption pleas moved by complainant Jaitley and another accused Sanjay Singh who claimed official work as the reason for their non-appearance.
The court had on May 19 dismissed the accused’ plea seeking stay of the proceedings in the current criminal defamation case, after which they approached the high court.
Jaitley had filed the criminal defamation complaint alleging that Kejriwal and the five AAP leaders — Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Kumar Vishwas, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai — had allegedly defamed him in Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) controversy.
A civil defamation suit has also been filed by Jaitley before the Delhi High Court in relation to the matter seeking Rs 10 crore in damages.