The Gujarat high court on Friday refused to grant an interim stay on the defamation proceedings initiated against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh for their statements against Gujarat University.
Kejriwal and Singh allegedly made derogatory statements defaming the varsity over the controversy pertaining to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s academic degree.
The defamation complaint was moved by Gujarat University registrar Piyush Patel. According to Patel, Kejriwal made such defamatory utterances at a press conference on April 1 and Singh made such utterances at a second press conference on April 2.
Kejriwal and Singh on Wednesday approached the court for a stay on the criminal defamation proceedings against them till the disposal of their revision plea in a sessions court.
A metropolitan court earlier summoned the two leaders on August 11 in the defamation case filed by the Gujarat University over their “sarcastic” and “derogatory” statement in connection with Modi’s degree.
Kejriwal and Singh had filed a revision application in the sessions court challenging the metropolitan court’s summons in the defamation case. They sought interim relief from the sessions court during the pendency of their main application, which was rejected by the court last Saturday, after which they approached the Gujarat high court.
The metropolitan court had summoned the two leaders after observing that prima facie there appeared to be a case against them under section 500 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Gujarat University’s registrar Piyush Patel filed a defamation case against the two leaders over their comments after the high court set aside the Chief Information Commissioner’s order on Modi’s degree.
They made “defamatory” statements at press conferences and on Twitter, targeting the university over Modi’s degree, the complainant said, adding that their comments targeting the Gujarat University were defamatory and hurt the prestige of the university which has established its name among the public.
Their statements were sarcastic and intended to intentionally hurt the prestige of the university, he said.
The comments quoted by the complainant and attributed to Kejriwal are: “If there is a degree and it is genuine, then why is it not being given?”, “They are not giving degree because it might be fake”, and “If the Prime Minister studied at Delhi University and Gujarat University, then Gujarat University should celebrate that its student became the country’s PM”, etc. Singh said that “they (GU) are trying to prove the PM’s fake degree as genuine”.
(With inputs from PTI)