A Delhi court discharged Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a defamation complaint filed by a Delhi Police constable, who had alleged that the CM had insulted the force by referring to police personnel as “thulla” in a TV interview in 2015.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Samar Vishal said the Delhi Police cannot qualify as a collection or association of persons “capable of being defamed as a whole”.
The court said the complainant had informed the court that the strength of Delhi Police is around 80,000. “It means that as a class, it is not possible to identify any member of the Delhi Police who could have been said to be defamed individually by that interview. The case could have been different if the accused referred to small group or class of policemen capable of identification…,” said the court.
According to court records, the complainant, constable Ajay Kumar Taneja, said he was watching the news when Kejriwal, in an interview, said: “Delhi Police ka agar koi ‘thulla’ rehdi patri walon se paise maangta hai, uske khilaf bhi case hona chahiye, yeh majboor nahi hain”.
In his complaint and subsequently in court, the constable had said that the interview caused him “serious mental tension”, “injury”, “harassment”, “agony”, “depression”, and “defamation”.
The complainant produced in court the meaning of the word “thulla”, as per a business dictionary. “The term given to the time waster within a process due to lack of motivation… Examples of ‘thulla’ include slower rates of productivity than employees are otherwise capable of…” said the complainant.
“It is not defamatory… the meaning of the term ‘thulla’ suggests that it is relative, to denote the performance level of a worker against fellow workers… It is not clear how the complainant is saying he was personally defamed,” said the court.
It added, “The ‘person aggrieved’ means a person who is wrongfully deprived of his entitlement, which he is legally entitled to receive… It does not include any kind of disappointment or personal inconvenience…”