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Court to hear defamation plea against AAP, Kejriwal on Aug 5

Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi: A Delhi court today fixed August 5 for hearing afresh a defamation complaint filed against Aam Aadmi Party and its leaders including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

The matter came up for hearing before Metropolitan Magistrate Satbir Singh Lamba after the sessions court had on April 16 remanded the case back to the magisterial court with a direction to hear it afresh.

Additional Sessions Judge Dinesh Kumar Sharma had set aside the November 14 last year order of a magisterial court dismissing the complaint filed by Anuranjan Jha, CEO of news portal Media Sarkar, against Kejriwal and five others, including the party, and had directed him to appear before the magistrate today.

The sessions court on April 8 had reserved its order on the plea challenging the magisterial court’s verdict.

Jha had challenged the magisterial court’s last year order dismissing his criminal defamation complaint against AAP, Kejriwal, Sisodia, Kumar Vishwas, Yogendra Yadav and Shazia Ilmi.

The magistrate had dismissed the plea on the ground that despite providing sufficient opportunities to Jha to lead pre-summoning evidence in support of his plea, he opted not to do so. Jha had only examined himself in support of his plea.

In his revision petition, Jha has said the magistrate had failed to appreciate that from his sworn statements and the documents produced by him, it was clear that the leaders had made alleged defamatory imputations against him.

Earlier in 2013, AAP had also filed a criminal defamation complaint against Jha for releasing a “doctored” video before the then assembly elections allegedly showing some party candidates accepting funds through illegal means.

The sting operation alleged that several AAP leaders, who were contacted for their help in recovering money from some individuals and getting some controversial land deals through, readily agreed to extend their support in return of cash donations for the party.

The charges were dismissed as baseless by AAP.

Jha had in November 2013 filed a similar complaint against AAP and some of its leaders before a magisterial court alleging that they had defamed him.

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