SC Refuses To Review Delhi HC Order Rejecting AAP Leader Deepak Bajpai’s Plea Questioning Patiala House CMM’s Jurisdiction

The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra dismissed a petition filed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Deepak Bajpai who, along with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and four others, is facing defamation case filed by Union Minister Arun Jaitley.

“After hearing from counsel, we find no merit in the petition, dismissed,” CJI said.

Deepak Bajpai had challenged the Delhi High Court’s October 27 order which rejected his plea on the ground of delay of 458 days.

Appearing for Deepak Bajpai, senior advocate Sanjay Hegde questioned the jurisdiction of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Patiala House while submitting that the AAP leader is from Kanpur and the judge should have made an enquiry before issuing summons to him.

The law mandates the magistrate to verify the address of a person if he is not a resident of Delhi before issuing summons and the summons were served at the party office address, Hegde added.

The bench, however, pointed out that Deepak Bajpai has already appeared before the magistrate’s court through his lawyer following court summons and did not raise the issue then.

Appearing for complainant Jaitley, senior lawyer Sidharth Luthra contended that the accused has made false statement before the court. All accused have been filing some application or other before various courts.

In his appeal against the Delhi High Court order, Deepak Bajpai said he had filed revision petition in the HC challenging three orders passed by the CMM, Patiala House Courts, New Delhi.

“The three orders as challenged are: Order dated 9/3/2016 summoning the petitioner to face trial for offences under Section 500 read with 34 IPC, Order dated 30/1/2017 rejecting the application of the petitioner seeking permission to be heard at the stage of framing of notice under Section 251 CrPC; and, Order dated 25/3/2017 by which notice was framed upon the petitioner, through his counsel, under Section 251 CrPC for offences under Sections 500 read with 34 IPC.”

He has cited these grounds: i) That the order dated 9/3/2016 was bad for non-compliance of mandatory provision of Section 202 CrPC which mandates an inquiry before a person (who resides beyond the jurisdiction of the Magistrate) is summoned. (ii) That the order summoning the petitioner to face trial was liable to be set aside as there were no specific allegations made against the petitioner in the complaint. (iii) That the order dated 9/3/2016 summoning the petitioner to face trial was vitiated as it rendered final findings of fact on guilt of the petitioner and other accused persons in the said case. (iv) The orders dated 30/1/2017 and 25/3/2017 are bad for framing notice under Section 251 CrPC upon the petitioner, through his counsel, without hearing the petitioner on the point of framing of such notice.

In defamation case, besides Kejriwal and Deepak Bajpai, four other AAP leaders are Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Raghav Chadha.

They had accused Jaitley of corruption as the president of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), a post he held from 2000 to 2013.

Last month, the Supreme Court had rejected Chadha’s plea as to whether re-tweeting somebody’s allegedly defamatory tweet amounts to defamation.

Read the Petition Here