A court here today recorded statements of several newspaper officials in a criminal defamation complaint filed by DDCA Vice President Chetan Chauhan against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad.
The testimonies were recorded during pre-summoning evidence before Metropolitan Magistrate Abhilash Malhotra who fixed the matter for September 9 for further proceedings.
The defamation complaint was filed by Chauhan against Kejriwal and Azad for allegedly defaming him and Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) by making “scandalous” remarks.
Advocate Sangram Patnaik, appearing for Chauhan, examined the officials representing four newspapers as witnesses in support of the complaint.
He said the officials proved that the news published in their respective papers on December 30 and 31, 2015, were authentic and they had obtained the information, written in the news reports, from a verified source.
The court had earlier concluded recording the statement of Chauhan who had alleged that he and the cricketing body were “defamed” by Kejriwal before the media.
He had said his image as well as that of DDCA’s had been sullied in public eye.
Chauhan had earlier alleged before the court that Kejriwal had made “defamatory, slandering and incorrect” statements about DDCA before the media.
His petition has claimed that defamatory statements were made by Kejriwal and Azad, who himself is a member of DDCA, “to remain in the public eye and to gain political mileage”.
“The aforesaid actions of the accused have severely damaged the credibility and reputation of the complainant in the eyes of thousands of cricket lovers, citizens of India as well as internationally.
“It has always been a serious apprehension, which has come true in this case, where provocative statements, irrespective of their falsity, have entered the realm of the Internet and social media, and are being republished and forwarded again and again making it next to impossible to squelch the same,” the petition said.
The plea alleged that Kejriwal had made “scandalous” remarks against DDCA on national television due to which the cricketing body and Chauhan have suffered irreparable loss in the public eye. It has claimed Kejriwal’s “false” statements were immediately endorsed and repeated by Azad.
It also referred to Kejriwal’s interview to a news channel in which he had allegedly said that apart from the financial irregularities, there were other major wrong-doings in DDCA, including “sex racket”.
The plea, while denying all allegations levelled by Kejriwal and Azad, has said they have purportedly given “wholly incorrect and false, baseless and grossly defamatory” statements against the cricketing body.