17 April 2023 4:50 AM GMT
A Court in Gujarat's Ahmedabad District has issued summons to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh in a criminal defamation complaint filed by Gujarat University for the alleged derogatory statements made by the two in connection with the controversy regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s academic degree.The Order was passed by the court...
A Court in Gujarat's Ahmedabad District has issued summons to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh in a criminal defamation complaint filed by Gujarat University for the alleged derogatory statements made by the two in connection with the controversy regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s academic degree.
The Order was passed by the court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Jayeshbhai Chovatiya on Saturday while dealing with a criminal complaint filed by Gujarat University, through its Registrar Dr. Piyush M.Patel under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code against Kejriwal and Singh. In its order, the Court found a prima facie case against them.
PM Modi Degree Controversy| In a #Defamation case filed by #GujaratUniversity, Ahmedabad Court has ISSUED SUMMONS to the Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) & Aam Aadmi Party’s RS MP Sanjay Singh (@SanjayAzadSln) for their alleged derogatory remarks against the varsity. pic.twitter.com/TCtWXdnVBt— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) April 17, 2023
PM Modi Degree Controversy| In a #Defamation case filed by #GujaratUniversity, Ahmedabad Court has ISSUED SUMMONS to the Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) & Aam Aadmi Party’s RS MP Sanjay Singh (@SanjayAzadSln) for their alleged derogatory remarks against the varsity. pic.twitter.com/TCtWXdnVBt
Essentially, citing certain statements of the Kejriwal and Singh, allegedly made right after the Gujarat High Court order quashing and setting aside the 2016 order of the Central Information Commission (CIC) directing the Gujarat University to provide “information regarding degrees in the name of Mr. Narendra Damodar Modi" to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the complaint accuses them of making sarcastic and defamatory statements in press conferences and on Twitter handles targeting the university over Modi's degree.
"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.
Importantly, the Univeristy also put up a contention in its complainant that CM Kejriwal made the statements in his “personal capacity” and “not affairs of the State”. Agreeing with this submission, the Court ordered to delete words ‘Chief Minister’ from Kejriwal’s name in the cause title of the case.
Further, the Court also observed that prima facie, both Kejriwal adn Singh appeared to have targeted the Gujarat University as the words uttered by them were sarcastic and meant to target the Gujarat University's image in the minds of the people.
"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.
Against this backdrop, giving a reasonable opportunity to Kejriwal and Singh to refute the allegations against them, the Court proceeded ahead to issue summons / process to them under section 204 CrPC directing them to appear on May 23.