25 Aug 2023 9:44 AM GMT
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the trial in the criminal defamation case filed by the Gujarat University against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over the remarks made by him in connection with the academic degree of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The Court noted that Kejriwal's petition seeking stay of the trial was pending before the Gujarat High Court and is posted on August...
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the trial in the criminal defamation case filed by the Gujarat University against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over the remarks made by him in connection with the academic degree of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Court noted that Kejriwal's petition seeking stay of the trial was pending before the Gujarat High Court and is posted on August 29. "We are not inclined to issue notice in the SLP, as the matter is still sub-judice before the High Court", the Court observed. "We hope and trust that the High Court will decide the petition on the said date", the Court added.
A bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Bhatti was hearing the special leave petition filed by Kejriwal against the Gujarat High Court's refusal to grant him interim relief. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Ahmedabad, who holds the trial in the case, had earlier summoned Kejriwal and co-accused AAP MP Sanjay Singh.
Before the Supreme Court, Senior Advocate Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi, submitted that the summoning order is wrongly issued in the instant case. Providing a background of the case, Singhvi said that against the "wrong summoning" order, a revision petition was filed before the Sessions Court. Though the Sessions Court issued notice on the revision petition, it refused to stay the trial. Against this, the petition under Section 482 CrPC was filed in the High Court, which refused interim relief, while posting the matter to August 29. "The trial court is going at breakneck speed. The next date is August 31. The next date of revision is in October 31. The trial court might conclude even it in September", Singhvi added.
However, the bench expressed disinclination to interfere considering that the High Court is seized of the matter.
Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, appearing for the University, submitted that there were "innuendos" in the comments made by Kejriwal. He contended that there was serious suppression of facts in the case. The SG said that the trial court has allowed exemption from personal appearance; however, this fact was suppressed by Kejriwal in the petition filed before the High Court. SG urged that this matter should be allowed to be raised before the High Court. Considering this request, the bench recorded in the order, "We must record that a number of pleas have been raised by the Solicitor General on behalf of the Gujarat University. The said pleas can be raised before the High Court".
In the defamation case, the University alleged that the “sarcastic” and “derogatory” statements against the varsity over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s academic degree defamed it.
In March, the Gujarat High Court had quashed an order passed by the CIC for disclosure of the details of the degree of PM Modi and imposed a cost of Rupees 25,000 on Kejriwal.
Case : Arvind Kejriwal v. The State of Gujarat SLP(Crl) No. 10191/2023
Click Here To Read/Download Order