The Delhi High Court on Thursday refused to order an interim stay on trial proceedings in a criminal defamation case against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The case was filed by a former aide of Congress leader Sheila Dikshit over Kejriwal’s allegedly defamatory comments against her in October 2012.
Justice AK Pathak refused to stay the proceedings citing a Supreme Court direction that such matters must be decided or disposed of within a year, PTI reported. The judge issued notices to the state and complainant Pawan Khera seeking their reply on Kejriwal’s petition that the complaint can not be maintained as the affected person – Dikshit – had not approached the trial court.
Khera, Dikshit’s former political secretary, had complained that Kejriwal had used objectionable language against the former Delhi chief minister in a television show while talking about the power tariff hike in 2012.
Kejriwal, in his petition has asked the court to quash the summons he was issued in the case in January 2013 and subsequent proceedings. The court will next hear the matter on July 11.
Over the last month Kejriwal and several other Aam Aadmi Party members have apologised to many political leaders in an effort to get rid of the dozens of defamation cases against them in court. So far, Kejriwal has apologised to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia, Union minister Nitin Gadkari and Congress leader Kapil Sibal. It is reportedly part of Kejriwal’s decision to “refocus” his time and energy on governance.