Arvind Kejriwal summoned in defamation case by BJP leader

A Delhi court on Friday issued summons to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and three other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders in a defamation complaint filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rajiv Babbar over the Delhi CM’s comment on deletion of over 30 lakh names from the voters’ list in Delhi.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal asked Kejriwal, Rajya Sabha member Sushil Kumar Gupta, MLA Manoj Kumar and Atishi, who is the AAP’s candidate from East Delhi, to appear before the court on April 30.

Babbar, who had moved the application on behalf of BJP’s Delhi unit, sought action against the AAP leaders for alleging that over 30 lakh names were deleted from the voters’ list in Delhi by the election commission at the behest of the BJP. In a tweet in December last year, Kejriwal had said that the deleted voters included “4 lakh baniyas, 8 lakh Muslims, 15 lakh poorvanchalis and 3 lakh rest”.

In his plea, Babbar had accused the AAP leaders of “harming the reputation of the BJP by blaming the party for the deletion of the names of voters from the electoral rolls in Delhi”.

The court also noted the submission by Election Commission of India (ECI), which refuted the allegations by AAP leaders as “baseless and without facts”. The EC informed the court that addition and deletion is a regular exercise undertaken by them without any influence of a political party or a private agency.

AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj alleged that Delhi Police under political pressure filed hundreds of cases against AAP leaders. “Most of these cases fell flat in courts and police have been pulled for filing motivated cases. We believe news of summons and chargesheets in frivolous cases always get media traction. However, news of courts discharging AAP leaders gets smaller space,” he said.

First Published:
Mar 16, 2019 05:14 IST

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