Delhi High Court dismisses Raghav Chadha’s plea in defamation case

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In a setback to Aam Aadmi Party’s Raghav Chadha, the Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed his plea arguing that he could not be made to face a criminal case only for retweeting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s tweet against Union Minister Arun Jaitley in the DDCA corruption scandal.

Raghav Chadha
Photo: Indian Express

Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal dismissed his plea saying that the plea was ‘devoid of merits.’ Justice Sehgal, however, did not go into the argument if retweets would constitute an offence in a defamation case.

Reacting to the verdict, Chadha expressed his disappointment and said that he will move the Supreme Court against the order. He tweeted, “Respectfully disagree with HC verdict. It will have serious implications on free speech in era of new technology. Will move SC against this.”

Chadha on Tuesday had told the Delhi High Court that he could not made to face a criminal case only for retweeting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s tweet against Union Minister Arun Jaitley, adding that a retweet did not amount to the offence of defamation.

Jaitley has filed a criminal defamation case against Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders including Chadha, Asutosh, Kumar Vishwas, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai. AAP leaders had accused Jaitley of being involved in corrupt practices when he was the president of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), a post he had held from 2000 to 2013.

Jaitley, who had denied all the allegations levelled by the AAP leaders in December 2015, had also filed a civil defamation suit seeking Rs 10 crore damages from Kejriwal and others, claiming they had made “false and defamatory” statements in the case involving DDCA, thereby harming his reputation.

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