AAP spokesperson, Raghav Chadha, on Tuesday 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.
Chadha’s counsel, according to a PTI report, sought setting aside of a trial court order summoning him as an accused in the criminal defamation case filed by Jaitley against him and five other AAP leaders including Kejriwal.
Chadha was being represented by senior advocate Anand Grover, who said that the whole complaint was based on electronic downloaded record, barring one news article, and the offence of defamation under the IPC was not made out.
Grover said that if it was electronic record, it would be covered under the Information and Technology Act.
Jaitley’s lawyer Siddharth Luthra opposed Grover’s contention saying that defamatory remarks were not covered under the IT Act and had to be booked under the IPC.
He said, “They (AAP leaders) left no stone unturned to embarass and defame my client (Jaitley). They acted in concert.”
Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal would continue to hear the arguments of both sides on Wednesday.
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.