Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Thursday moved a plea before the Delhi court seeking adjournment in the criminal defamation case filed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, stating that the trial court should hear the matter once the Delhi High Court passes its order in the civil suit filed by Jaitley over the DDCA controversy. However, the plea was rejected by the court.
Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, appearing for Kejriwal, told Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass that the trial court should suo motu adjourn the matter for “reasonable time”, until the high court proceedings are decided.
Jaitley had, in December last year, filed a civil suit in the High Court and a criminal defamation case in the trial court against Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders — Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Kumar Vishwas, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai — for allegedly defaming him in connection with the affairs of DDCA. The Union minister had sought Rs 10 crore in damages as well as their prosecution for offences.
“… The present criminal case is not an ordinary libel action under the code of criminal procedure… can even be tried as simple and routine summons case…we request you to stay the hearing and adjourn the present proceedings for a reasonable time,” Jethmalani told the court.
However, the court said, “ I may note that this court cannot stay proceedings on its own, merely on the account of pendency of civil suit before High Court….”