Delhi court summons AAP leader Atishi in defamation case by BJP leader

Delhi minister Atishi Singh addresses a press conference at Delhi Secretariat, Tuesday, May 28, 2024. Photo: PTI.

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Tuesday summoned AAP leader and minister Atishi in a criminal complaint filed by a BJP leader. The complainant accused Atishi and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of defamation for claiming that AAP leaders were approached to join the saffron party in return for cash. However, the court refused to summon Kejriwal.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Tanya Bamniyal, summoned Atishi, saying "prima facie" there was sufficient evidence against her in the matter. The judge directed Atishi to appear before the court on June 29.

BJP leader Praveen Shankar Kapoor had filed a case against Kejriwal and Atishi over poaching allegations made by the two. "Having considered the facts and circumstances, the testimonies of the complainant's witnesses, the evidence placed on record, it prima facie appears that the alleged accused no. 1 (Atishi) has made specific defamatory statements as aforementioned against the complainant," the judge said.
Further, it prima facie appears that the aforesaid defamatory statements made by Atishi have been sufficiently published in the electronic media/social media which may make the right-thinking members of the society against the complainant, the judge said.

It appears that Atishi, by her spoken words and by words which 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 the society and the same has been made knowing and intending to harm the reputation of the complainant, the judge added. Whereas, in view of the reasons stated above, "no prima facie offence is established against Kejriwal", the judge said.

"Therefore, in view of the above discussion, there exist sufficient grounds to summon accused Atishi Marlena under section 500 (defamation) IPC," the judge said.
Alleging that the claims made by the two senior AAP leaders against the BJP are false, Kapoor said the duo had not furnished any material to substantiate the allegations. 

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