Gujarat High Court setback for Arvind Kejriwal and Sanjay Singh in PM Modi title case

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Gujarat High Court setback for Arvind Kejriwal in PM Modi Degree case

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Ahmedabad:

The Gujarat High Court on Friday dismissed pleas by Aam Aadmi Party leaders Arvind Kejriwal and Sanjay Singh to quash the summons issued against them in a criminal defamation case over their comments on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's educational qualifications.

Through their pleas, Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal and AAP Rajya Sabha member Singh had challenged a trial court's summons in the case filed by Gujarat University and the court's subsequent order of sessions that dismissed his requests for review against the subpoena.

Rejecting their pleas, Justice Hasmukh Suthar directed the two AAP leaders to present their pleas before the trial court.

Seeking quashing of the summons, the two leaders had said that Gujarat University (GU) cannot file a defamation case in a trial court and should rather move the sessions court.

The metropolitan court had summoned Kejriwal and Singh on April 15 last year in the defamation case filed by GU for their “sarcastic” and “derogatory” statements regarding Prime Minister Modi's title.

The two leaders then filed a review petition in the sessions court challenging the summons.

However, the sessions court upheld the summons, following which they approached the Gujarat HC, which rejected their plea for interim stay.

The two leaders also approached the Supreme Court, which also refused to consider their claims.

The HC subsequently directed the sessions court to conclude the hearing within ten days of allocating the matter to a new court.

GU Registrar Piyush Patel had filed a defamation case against Kejriwal and Singh after the HC in March last year quashed the Central Information Commission (CIC) order regarding Prime Minister Modi's educational qualification.

While the court imposed a cost of Rs 25,000 on Mr. Kejriwal, it also refused to grant a stay of the order.

Kejriwal and Singh made “defamatory” statements in press conferences and on social media targeting the university over Modi's title, GU said in its complaint.

His comments, made intentionally and directed at GU, were defamatory and damaged the prestige of the university, according to the complainant.

In April 2016, the then CIC M Sridhar Acaryulu had directed Delhi University and GU to provide information to Mr Kejriwal about Modi's degrees. Three months later, the Gujarat HC stayed the CIC order after GU approached it against the order.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated channel.)

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