Will you say sorry for remark on cops, HC asks Kejriwal
New Delhi: After having apologised to political bigwigs, would Arvind Kejriwal now say sorry to a police constable and settle another of his defamation cases? Delhi high court put this poser to the Delhi chief minister on Monday in the criminal defamation case filed by police constable Ajay Kumar Taneja against Kejriwal for using the word ‘thulla’ to describe policemen.
This oral query came from justice Anu Malhotra during the brief hearing on Kejriwal’s plea on quashing the proceedings, including the summons issued to him by a trial court for a personal appearance. The summons had been stayed since last year by the high court. Kejriwal’s counsel responded that he would seek instruction and report back to the court.
While exempting him from personal appearance in the trial court, the high court said last year said the Aam Aadmi Party leader must explain the meaning of ‘thulla’ since the Hindi dictionary didn’t seem to list this word. “If you use this word about somebody, you must know its meaning. You have to satisfy the court with the meaning of the word,” Jus- tice Mukta Gupta had said.
At the time, Kejriwal’s lawyer had said the word was not used of all police personnel, only those indulging in wrong practices. “It is a word with no meaning, so it cannot be defamatory,” Kejriwal’s lawyer had argued.
Hearing Taneja’s complaint that the Delhi chief minister had used a defamatory term in reference to police personnel on television, the trial court held Kejriwal’s statement to be prima facie defamatory and asked him to appear in court on July 14 last year.
In recent day, Kejriwal, keen to end a host of defamation cases, has been on an apology spree. He started the process of winding up these prolonged litigations by first apologising to former Punjab minister Bikram Majithia, followed by Union minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari. Both accepted and terminated their cases. Next, the CM said sorry to senior advocate Amit Sibal, son of Congress leader Kapil Sibal. Last month, the AAP leader apologised to Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, ending the civil and criminal cases lodged by the BJP leader against him and other AAP leaders.