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Kejriwal moves HC for quashing of summons in defamation case

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has approached the Delhi High Court, seeking quashing of summons issued to him as an accused in a criminal defamation case for re-tweeting an allegedly defamatory video circulated by YouTuber Dhruv Rathee in May 2018.

The AAP leader has challenged two orders of a trial court which had refused to quash the summons against him. The plea is yet to be listed for hearing.

A magistrate court had summoned Kejriwal to appear before it on Aug 7, after a criminal complaint by the founder of social media page, 'I Support Narendra Modi', alleged the AAP leader had re-tweeted the defamatory video.

The chief minister challenged the magistrate's order before a sessions court, which dismissed his plea.

He then challenged the sessions court's order in the high court, saying the trial court failed to appreciate that his tweet was not intended or likely to harm complainant Vikas Sankrityayan.

The plea said the trial court erred in not providing any reasons for issuance of summons and the orders were ex-facie devoid of judicial application of mind.

Sankrityayan claimed the YouTube video with the title 'BJP IT Cell Part II' was circulated by Rathee, who lives in Germany, "wherein number of false and defamatory allegations were made".

Regarding Kejriwal, he said the chief minister re-tweeted without checking its authenticity.

"The complainant alleges that the allegations made against him in this video are false, malicious and defamatory and it has lowered the reputation of the complainant in the eyes of right thinking members of the society. So far, no proof has been tendered on the allegations," Sankrityayan's complaint said.

He said Kejriwal is followed by crores of people "due to which the video has reached to a large number of people not only in India but also internationally".

The magisterial court summoned Kejriwal as an accused in the defamation complaint, saying that the "allegations in the video are prima facie defamatory and refers to complainant Vikas Sankrityayan making him an aggrieved person".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, December 09 2019. 18:40 IST