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'Whether Retweeting A Defamatory Tweet Amounts To Offence': Delhi HC Issues Notice On Kejriwal's Plea

Karan Tripathi
17 Dec 2019 6:49 AM GMT
Whether Retweeting A Defamatory Tweet Amounts To Offence: Delhi HC Issues Notice On Kejriwals Plea
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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice to Delhi opposition leader Vijender Gupta in an application filed by Arvind Kejriwal challenging a summons issued against him in a criminal defamation case.

While issuing notice, the Single Bench of Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar also reserved order on whether to stay the proceedings against Kejriwal pending before the Magistrate.

The Delhi Chief Minister had moved the Delhi High Court challenging the summons issued against him by the Magistrate in a criminal defamation case filed by Vijender Gupta.

This case was filed by BJP leader Vijender Gupta complaining that Arvind Kejriwal had retweeted a post on Twitter which had defamatory content against the complainant.

Arguing for Kejriwal, Senior Counsel Vikas Pahwa submitted before the court that the legal question which needs to be determined in this case is -

'Whether simply retweeting an allegedly defamatory tweet would amount to an offence'

Mr Pahwa also went on to argue that hundreds of people, including the complainant himself, had retweeted the allegedly defamatory tweet. However, the case has selectively been filed only against Kejriwal.

'This is an abuse of process of law', Pahwa argued.

It was also argued by Mr Pahwa that the accused has no requisite mens rea, which is a mandatory element under section 499 of IPC. 

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