Delhi high court on Wednesday refused to dismiss criminal defamation proceedings filed by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders.
Jaitley had filed a criminal defamation complaint in December 2015, saying that Kejriwal and others’ comments over his conduct as the then president of Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) had been defamatory.
Judge P S Teji said nothing had been brought before the court to show the continuation of the criminal trial constituted an abuse of the process of law, or that any orders were required to secure the ends of justice.
"The request of the petitioners to stop court proceedings before the chief metropolitan magistrate is rejected," Teji said.
The court said the proceedings were free from any perversity, impropriety, illegality, and non-sustainability.
Apart from the criminal defamation case, Jaitley has filed a civil defamation suit in the high court for Rs 10 crore in damages from Kejriwal and other AAP leaders in relation to the DDCA controversy.
Wednesday’s verdict upholds a May 19 decision of the chief metropolitan magistrate, who had turned down Kejriwal and the other AAP leaders’ requests to stop criminal trial on the grounds that the high court was dealing with a civil suit on the same issue.
“While civil proceedings have been initiated for claiming compensation for damaging the reputation of the respondent (Jaitley), the case at hand is of criminal defamation. Both matters are separate," said Teji.