The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a plea by former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and some other AAP leaders to stay trial proceedings in a defamation case filed by Union minister Kapil Sibal’s advocate son Amit Sibal.
A Bench led by Justice H L Dattu posted the matter for final hearing on July 21 while dismissing an application by Kejriwal and others for restraining the trial court from proceeding in the case. The trial court has fixed April 19 as the next date of hearing. The Bench also refrained from issuing any order on granting exemption from personal appearance of the AAP leaders and said the trial court shall decide their request on merits.
Earlier, the SC had stayed the Delhi High Court order in the matter on an appeal by Amit.
The Delhi High Court had refused to quash defamation proceedings against AAP leaders but had told trial court to consider the discharge plea of Kejriwal and Bhushan.
Sibal’s advocate son Amit had filed the defamation suit against Kejriwal and Bhushan and the trial court had issued process against them in July last year. Amit had moved against Kejriwal and Bhushan for alleging that he had taken advantage of his father’s position to represent telecom companies.
After the trial court issued process and summoned them for appearance, Kejriwal and Bhushan moved the HC seeking discharge from the case. The HC on January 16 refused to entertain their request, but permitted them to move a similar plea before the trial court. The HC had also said that if they moved an application for exemption from personal appearance, the trial court would grant it.
Amit Sibal challenged this order in the Supreme Court alleging that it was beyond the provisions of law. In his appeal, he said no provision of law permitted discharge from a defamation suit and the HC erred in permitting Kejriwal and Bhushan to move it before the trial court, with an advice to the trial court to consider it.