February 8, 2014 2:13:08 am
The Supreme Court Friday issued notices to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and three other Aam Aadmi Party leaders and virtually restrained the trial court from considering their plea for exoneration in a defamation case filed by Union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal’s son Amit against them.
A bench led by Justice H L Dattu stayed the Delhi High Court order, which had asked the trial court to consider their discharge plea even as it refused to quash the criminal defamation proceedings against the AAP leaders.
The High Court had also allowed exemption to Kejriwal and others from personal appearance before the trial court. Besides Kejriwal, notices have been issued to Shazia Ilmi, Prashant Bhushan and Manish Sisodia.
Sibal’s advocate son Amit Sibal had moved the apex court against the High Court order. His petition stated that that the High Court could not have conferred the power on a magisterial court to consider their discharge plea since it was not permitted under the law. He also claimed that the High Court had exempted Kejriwal and others from personal appearance, although they had not sought this.
Amit has sought criminal prosecution of Kejriwal and his party members for tarnishing his image by making false statements.
In a press conference on May 15 last year, Kejriwal had claimed the government was favouring telecom company Vodafone since Amit was representing the company. Benefits were being given to the company through Amit in exchange of bribe, Kejriwal had alleged.
Taking cognisance of the complaint, the magisterial court had issued summons to them in July last year. Subsequently, the AAP leaders moved the High Court for getting the proceedings quashed.
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