8 Aug 2023 3:24 PM GMT
An Ahmedabad Court has rejected a plea filed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh for an interim stay on proceedings in a criminal defamation complaint filed by Gujarat University for their (Kejriwal & Singh) alleged derogatory statements made in connection with the controversy regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s academic degree....
An Ahmedabad Court has rejected a plea filed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh for an interim stay on proceedings in a criminal defamation complaint filed by Gujarat University for their (Kejriwal & Singh) alleged derogatory statements made in connection with the controversy regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s academic degree.
The plea for interim stay on proceedings had been moved by Kejriwal and Singh in their revision application filed before the City Civil & Sessions Court Ahmedabad challenging the April 15, 2023 order of the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Ahmedabad summoning them, as well as the impugned complaint.
It may be noted that Kejriwal and Singh have been summoned personally to face the Charges in Court. However, the duo have not appeared before the Court as they moved the Sessions Court challenging the summoning order. The next date of hearing in the matter is August 11, when both are expected to appear in Court.
Before the Sessions Court, it was prayed by their Counsel, Puneet Juneja, that pending admission, hearing and final disposal of their revision application, further proceedings of the criminal case be stayed and the Court concerned be directed to allow their application seeking adjournment by a suitable period preferably by 90 days or conclusion and final hearing of the captioned matter.
Having heard the advocate for the applicant, the Court, after considering the peculiar and very important facts and circumstances involved in this application, the Cour did not deem it fit to grant the interim relief to both, Kejriwal and Singh.
"...this Court does not find it appropriate on the part of applicant that he has given assurance to remain present before the learned Metropolitan Magistrate Court on 11.08.2023 and applicant has prayed interim relief before this Court, which cannot be granted at this stage," the Court said in the operative part of its order.
The background of the case
In the criminal complaint filed by Gujarat University, through its Registrar Dr Piyush M.Patel under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code, the alleged statements of Kejriwal and Singh have been referred to, accusing them of making sarcastic and defamatory statements in press conferences and on Twitter handles targeting the university over Modi's degree.
The alleged statement is as follows:
"अगर डिग्री है और वो सही है तो डिग्री दी क्यों नहीं जा रही है...गुजरात और दिल्ली यूनिवर्सिटी डिग्री क्यों नहीं दे रही हैं? डिग्री इसलिए नहीं दे रहे हैं कि डिग्री हो सकता है फर्जी हो, डिग्री नकली हो...अगर प्रधानमंत्री जी दिल्ली विश्वविद्यालय से पढे, गुजरात यूनिवर्सिटी से पढे, तो गुजरात यूनिवर्सिटी को सेलीब्रेट करना चाहिए कि हमारा लड़का जो है देश का प्रधानमंत्री बन गया...वो उनकी डिग्री को छुपने की कोशिश कर रहे हैं...(यूनिवर्सिटी) प्रधानमंत्री की फर्जी डिग्री को सही साबित करने में जुट गई [If degree is there and it is correct then why degree is not being given... Why Gujarat and Delhi University are not giving degree? The degree is not being given because the degree may be fake... If the Prime Minister studied from Delhi University, Gujarat University, then Gujarat University should celebrate that our boy has become the Prime Minister of the country. ...it is trying to hide his degree...[Univerisity] put his all to prove a fake degree (of PM) as right]," is the statements that have been attributed to Kejriwal by the University in its complaint."
The Complaint further states that immediately after the Gujarat High Court's order, Kejriwal made defamatory statements against Gujarat University in a press conference despite being aware of the fact that the Prime Minister's degree has been published on the University's website long back.
"It is natural that due to the statements of the accused people who know the credit of Gujarat University and all the people who do not know Gujarat University will develop distrust towards Gujarat University," the Court observed.
The Court also opined that if the political office bearers, instead of fulfilling their duty to their people, do any work directly or indirectly for their personal enmity or selfishness, to harm the opponents or the same person, and if they utter any such words, those words will be considered a violation of the trust placed by the people and the words uttered will be considered personal.
In is in that order that the Court directed for their personal presence before the Court.