Free Press Journal

DDCA plea against Kejriwal, Azad not maintainable: Delhi HC told



New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today told Delhi High Court that the civil defamation suit filed by DDCA against him and suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad for their alleged remarks against the cricketing body about its functioning and finances was not maintainable.

The AAP leader sought dismissal of Delhi District Cricket Association’s (DDCA) plaint denying any “false, scandalous, defamatory… disgraceful and outrageous statement made by him” which could have caused “irreparable loss and injury to its image and reputation in the eye of the public at large”.

Kejriwal in his written statement filed through advocate Anupam Srivastava also said that DDCA, being a corporation and an artificial person, cannot indulge in alleged acts of corruption or bribery so as to project a dishonest image about itself as “concept of dishonesty by a corporation is different from dishonesty by its officers or employees”.

This submission was made on behalf of Kejriwal while claiming that DDCA as an artificial body cannot file a defamation suit. “The present suit on behalf of plaintiff no 1 (DDCA) is thus liable to be dismissed,” Kejriwal said in his written statement before Joint Registrar Rajesh Kumar Singh.

The chief minister’s written statement came in the backdrop of the court’s direction issued during hearing on DDCA’s suit in which Kejriwal and Azad were issued notice on January 15 for filing their written statements.

Azad, while defending his alleged remarks against DDCA, said that no allegations were attributed to him in the suit. The BJP MP stated that in the plaint filed by DDCA, there was reference to 14 newspaper articles but there were no specific allegations against him.

DDCA’s counsel Sangram Patnaik had earlier alleged that the Chief Minister “with prior motive, indulged in certain false, shocking, scandalous, defamatory, baseless, slanderous, malicious, disgraceful and outrageous statements which are defamatory against them”.

DDCA’s counsel had said that Azad also indulged in making such statements “which were made solely with an agenda to defame and cause harm to the plaintiff (DDCA) for self-serving and motivated reasons”. DDCA has claimed that the allegations regarding financial irregularities and corruption in selections at the junior level were “maligning the image” of the cricket body.

“Consequently, DDCA has suffered a loss of more than Rs 500 crore. However, DDCA is choosing to file the present suit for the damages arising out of the said defamation by the defendants, in the sum of Rs five crore (Rs 2.5 crore each). “In addition to this, a public apology is also demanded by DDCA from Kejriwal and Azad,” the complaint has said. It has alleged that Kejriwal and Azad have “flagrantly violated all principles of responsible behaviour and ethics”.