New Delhi: The Tis Hazari court in Delhi on Saturday granted exemption to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his absence at the hearing today in connection with a criminal defamation case filed by Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) and its vice-president Chetan Chauhan. He has now been directed to appear before the court on March 21.
The court also granted bail to suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Kirti Azad in the case.
The court had earlier observed that their statements prima facie adversely affected the reputation of the cricketing body and its officials.
The Delhi high court on February 7 had slapped a fine of Rs. 10,000 on Kejriwal and Rs. 30,000 on Azad for delay in filing a response to the defamation suit.
The court said that their written statements to the suit would be taken on record on payment of the costs imposed on them.
The High Court`s Joint Registrar Anil Kumar Sisodia, who presided over the procedural aspects of a civil suit, directed that the costs of imposed on the chief minister, shall be paid to the cricketing body.
Whereas in Azad`s case, Rs. 20, 000 shall be paid the DDCA and the rest shall be deposited in the Delhi High Court Legal Service Authority.
Azad`s Legal counsel, during the hearing, said the MP was busy in the Parliament, so his reply should be accepted and the delay in response be condoned.The defamation suit filed by the DDCA sought Rs. 2 .5 crore each from Kejriwal and Azad for their alleged comments.
The DDCA had earlier alleged that Kejriwal with prior motive, indulged in certain false, shocking, scandalous, defamatory, baseless, slanderous, malicious, disgraceful and outrageous statements which seriously damaged and dented the image of cricketing body. Whereas Azad is facing defamation suit for alleged his defamatory criticism of the functioning and finances of the cricketing body.