New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and leaders of his Aam Aadmi Party will have to face trial in a criminal defamation case filed against them by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The AAP leaders had accused Mr Jaitley of financial irregularities when he was the president of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) during 2000-12 after which Mr Jaitley filed two defamation cases against them - one civil, seeking damages, and one criminal.
- Delhi court to proceed with trial after Chief Minister pleads not guilty
- Had been named in case after he accused Arun Jaitley of corruption
- Mr Jaitley has also filed a civil defamation case against Mr Kejriwal
On Saturday, a Delhi court decided to proceed with the trial from May 20 after Mr Kejriwal and others pleaded not guilty amid chaotic scenes in the courtroom.
Lawyers from both the sides indulged in a heated argument over the absence of Mr Jaitley after Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Sumit Dass started the proceedings. The accused, including Mr Kejriwal, who were present before the court complained of "serious threat" after which the judge asked all the persons to go outside the court room, barring those who were concerned with the case.
The magistrate framed notices against Mr Kejriwal and other AAP leaders - Ashutosh, Kumar Vishwas, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chaddha and Deepak Bajpai - after they pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.
Earlier, on January 30, the court had dismissed Mr Kejriwal's request seeking to be heard on point of framing of notice.
The finance minister had also filed a civil case against the Chief Minister and others in the party to seek Rs 10 crore for "false, defamatory statements that harmed his reputation". Mr Jaitley has alleged that Mr Kejriwal made false allegations for "political mileage, causing irreversible damage to him."
(With inputs from PTI)