Will you say sorry for re­mark on cops, HC asks Ke­jri­wal

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY - Ab­hi­nav.Garg@ times­group.com

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.

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