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Defamation case: CM Kejriwal, AAP charges against Arun Jaitley insulting, taunting, says Delhi Court

Jaitley had moved court against the AAP leaders, complaining that they had made defamatory statements and targeted him for alleged corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).

Written by Kaunain Sheriff M | New Delhi | Published: March 10, 2016 2:53 am
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Describing allegations levelled by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders against Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as “not only insulting but jeeringly taunting and provocative”, a Delhi court Wednesday summoned them as accused in a criminal defamation case filed by Jaitley.

Directing Kejriwal and AAP leaders Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Kumar Vishwas, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai to appear before him on April 7, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Sumit Dass said “freedom of speech and expression is not an absolute right” but “one that is hedged with reasonable restrictions, with the law of defamation being the primary one”.

“The language of public discourse ought to be within the confines of decency. If it transgresses those limits and becomes insulting, offensive and laced with innuendos, same may amount to defamation and become actionable at the end of the person aggrieved,” CMM Dass said.

Jaitley had moved court against the AAP leaders, complaining that they had made defamatory statements and targeted him for alleged corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).

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After the summons to the AAP leaders, advocate Manoj Taneja, counsel for Jaitley, told The Indian Express: “We respect the court’s order. The law will take its own course in the case.”

The CMM said: “Reputation of a man is his greatest asset. It takes years to build one’s reputation. No one knows or realises this fact much better than people who hold public office or aspire for the same… The allegations are not only insulting but jeeringly taunting and provocative. I have no hesitation to hold that the allegations levelled by the accused are derogatory in nature and amount to slander and libel.”

“…to call a person as corrupt, one who indulges in financial bungling and having siphoned off money to the tune of Rs 57 crore, drawing parallels with persons who are involved in criminal case, casting aspersions about his integrity, are not legitimate acts of criticism, but downright and per se defamatory in nature,” he said.

Referring to statements in the media, tweets and Facebook posts, the CMM said statements made by the accused “have exposed the complainant to ridicule, hatred and contempt amongst the right thinking members of society and lowered his reputation”.

“…defamatory allegations, as levelled on the Facebook post and print media, were intended to be read/shared by maximum number of persons, the allegations resonating through social media by tweets and re-tweets, all point to a synchronized pattern, in quick succession of time and which also probablise the existence of common intention,” he said.

The court said that “reading” statements made by the accused “as a whole” shows a “well orchestrated” campaign, and that all accused “appear to have acted in unison”.

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  1. A
    Mar 10, 2016 at 8:41 am
    AK is surrounded by snake pits, the fate of Indian politics will depend on what people choose and whether he will be allowed to perform.
    1. C
      Chander Pal
      Mar 10, 2016 at 9:39 am
      Kejri is an ultra negative person. He knows the art of trashing every one.
      1. R
        Mar 10, 2016 at 1:44 am
        All courts are not courts, but CORRUPTS. Supremely CORRUPT(SC), Highky CORRUPT(HC). So CORRUPTS put their MF into 1.3 billion Indian mouths.
        1. I
          IML sood
          Mar 10, 2016 at 6:50 am
          Aaptaed will never agree but this time these observations are from court an this is only a trailor when real picture is yet to come.Q arises how long you can go on abusing others and go Scott free.There seems tobe dead silence which denotes that their flock is fleeing day by day,otherwise also how long one can sustain on false promises.Their nautanki has to tobe exposed one day which is apprentice now.
          1. P
            Mar 10, 2016 at 11:19 am
            We are disgusted at the way responsible people indulge in mudslinging on opponents. I thought kejrival will do some good to Delhi.but whatever he is doing is wiped away by his bad mouthing opponents.the court should punish anybody who behave like this so we will not see anything happening like this in future.
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