Suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad, accused in a criminal defamation case filed by DDCA and former cricketer Chetan Chauhan, on Wednesday told a city court that the the cricket body was willing to compromise in the matter. The submission was made on behalf of Azad, who and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal are facing accusations of defaming Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA), before Metropolitan Magistrate Abhilash Malhotra.
The counsel for DDCA said he would take instructions from the administrator with regard to the compromise. However, Sangram Patnaik, the counsel for cricketer-turned-politician Chauhan, opposed the submission for compromise. The court, meanwhile, granted exemption from personal appearance to Kejriwal and at the request of their counsel, Rishikesh and Patnaik respectively.
In his application, Azad, who was present in the court, told the magistrate that they have come to know that DDCA’s authorised representative (AR) C K Bhardwaj has been suspended from service. After this, the DDCA counsel sought time to take instructions and said he will move an application seeking substitution of the AR, if required. The court posted the matter for further arguments on February 9.
“Part arguments heard on the application moved by Kirti Azad who submits that as a cricketer he has always worked for the benefit of the institution and in future also he looks forward to welfare of DDCA. “During the course of arguments, it is submitted by both the parties – Azad as well as DDCA – that they are willing to explore the possibility of compromise in present case. Counsel for the complainant seeks time to take instructions from the Administrator in this regard,” the magistrate said in his order.
The court had on March 21, 2017 granted bail to Kejriwal. Azad, too, is out on bail in the matter. The complaint had claimed that defamatory statements were made by Kejriwal and Azad “to remain in the public eye and gain political mileage”. “In an interview to a news channel, Kejriwal had alleged that apart from financial irregularities, there were other major wrongdoings in DDCA, including a sex racket,” the plea has alleged.
The allegation against Azad was that he had endorsed the defamatory allegations made by Kejriwal and claimed he had raised a similar issue in 2007.