Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha reserved the verdict after hearing arguments on the complaint filed by Gadkari alleging that he was defamed by the Aam Aadmi Party leader, who had included his name in the party’s list of “India’s most corrupt”.
Senior advocate Pinki Anand and advocate Ajay Digpaul, who appeared for Gadkari, argued that Kejriwal had made the statement against the BJP leader with a “malafide intention” to tarnish the image and lower the dignity of their client.
The counsel contended that Kejriwal had made “baseless and false allegation” against 57-year-old Gadkari.
The court had earlier on February 18 recorded statements of Gadkari and advocate Neeraj as complainant witnesses in the complaint.
Gadkari in his statement had claimed the former Delhi Chief Minister had included his name in the list of alleged corrupt politicians to tarnish his public image.
“The accused (Kejriwal) is in the habit of making false and defamatory statements without any basis. The statements made by the accused and his party members have damaged and tarnished my image in the eyes of the people.
“The said statements have been made maliciously by the accused person and his party people with the knowledge that the same are false, without any basis and with the malafide intention to defame and tarnish my reputation,” he had said.
The former BJP President had said that on January 31 this year, Kejriwal had issued a list of alleged “India’s most corrupt” in which he had named various politicians, including him.
On January 31, Kejriwal had accused several politicians of being “corrupt” and had said AAP will field candidates against them in the coming Lok Sabha polls.
Gadkari had said he was “shocked to see the news and the article published online in all leading news channels on January 31, where accused (Kejriwal) had intentionally and deliberately included the name of the complainant and published his name in the malafide and concocted list of ‘India’s Most Corrupt'”.
“This list of corrupt politicians, as stated by Kejriwal, included my name without any basis and it was totally malafide. On the basis of such statements, Kejriwal said to the people that based on his list, they should not vote for such politicians and should defeat such politicians,” he had said.
Gadkari had also deposed that he had sent a legal notice on January 31 to Kejriwal, which was duly received by him, but no reply was received.
He had alleged that after Kejriwal’s statement, other leaders of AAP further “sensationalised and scandalised” it and gave defamatory statements damaging his reputation.
In his petition, Gadkari had claimed Kejriwal had deliberately levelled false and malicious allegations against him which clearly reveal that the AAP leader had “ulterior motive for demeaning and slandering” his image.
He had also said that allegations levelled against him by Kejriwal were “wrong” and the conduct and behaviour of the former Delhi CM reflects that “he has the habit of maligning” his reputation to advance his “vested” political agenda and gain cheap publicity and media attention.
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