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Judiciary

AAP Minister Atishi summoned by Delhi Court in BJP defamation case, to appear on Jun 29

By Shreya Agarwal      29 May, 2024 12:44 PM      0 Comments

NEW DELHI: A Delhi Court has summoned Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Minister Atishi in a defamation case by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor, for her claims that BJP tried to poach AAP leaders in exchange for money.

The statements had imputed that BJP had contacted 21 AAP Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and offered them Rs 25 crore each for joining the BJP.

The Court observed that Atishi’s specific statements were prima facie defamatory, and directed Atishi to appear before it on June 29.

However, it refused to issue any summons to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is himself embroiled in legal proceedings emanating from the Delhi liquor policy case in which he is currently released on interim bail till June 1. 

The matter was being heard by the court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Tanya Bamniyal.

On examination of witness testimonies and the evidence placed on record, the Court held, "It appears that accused no. 1, by her spoken words and words that were intended to be read, has made defamatory imputations, which, prima facie, have lowered the reputation of the complainant amongst the right-thinking members of society, and the same has been made knowing and intending to harm the reputation of the complainant.”

Referring to Atishi’s claims of BJP trying to poach its leaders whenever they were approached by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in relation to any case, Kapoor argued that the widely telecasted false allegations had caused great harm to BJP’s reputation, and thereby his own reputation by virtue of his long-standing association with the BJP.

He also referred to a post on X (formerly Twitter), posted by CM Arvind Kejriwal on January 27 and stated that together, Atishi and Kejriwal had falsely alleged that the BJP was trying to topple the AAP-led Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD).

“Any dent to the party's reputation was perceived by people at large as lowering the moral character and creditworthiness of the complainant himself,” Kapoor contended.
 



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