New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was on Saturday put on trial by a city court for alleged offence of defamation in a criminal complaint filed against him by BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri.
Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh passed the order after which the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader, who was present before the court, pleaded not guilty and stated that he will contest the case.
The court framed the notice under section 499 and 500 of Indian Penal Code, which deal with the offence of defamation. In his complaint, Bidhuri had alleged that Kejriwal had defamed him in an interview to a news channel.
During the proceedings, the court also granted Kejriwal permanent exemption from personal appearance in the case. The court, however, said the AAP politician may be asked to appear personally in the case, if the need arose.
The court has now fixed December 23 as the next date of hearing in the case. During the hearing, the Chief Minister said he had no intention to defame the BJP lawmaker, a claim contested by Bidhuri. Kejriwal, who was summoned as an accused in the complaint filed by Bidhuri, was granted bail by the court on July 8 after he appeared before it and furnished a personal bond of Rs 10,000.
He was summoned as accused by the court in February this year on a criminal defamation complaint filed by Bidhuri, an MP from South Delhi parliamentary constituency, under section 500 (defamation) of the IPC.
Bidhuri had claimed that during the interview, Kejriwal had falsely said that criminal cases were pending against Bidhuri and a Congress leader but Delhi Police was not taking action against them. Bidhuri has claimed that no case was pending against him and Kejriwal had defamed him by giving such a statement.