SC stays criminal defamation proceedings against AAP leaders

New Delhi, Jan 16 (UNI) The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the criminal defamation proceedings going on in the trial court in Gujarat against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and MP Sanjay Singh over their statements against the Gujarat University for not disclosing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s academic degree.

A bench comprising Justice BR Gavai and Justice Sandeep Mehta asked the Gujarat High Court to hear the appeal of the AAP leaders expeditiously and at least their prayer for interim relief be disposed of within four weeks.

The Supreme Court order came on a plea moved by Sanjay Singh seeking the transfer of the case to a trial court outside Gujarat.

The top Court declined to entertain Sanjay Singh’s plea to transfer the trial court proceedings outside Gujarat and added that the proceedings in the trial court shall remain stayed till the time the high court decides on granting or refusal of interim relief.

Appearing for Sanjay Singh, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that the Gujarat University intends to hold his client guilty and disqualify him even as his appeal-seeking stay is pending before the high court. The Senior Advocate noted that Sanjay Singh has not spoken a word against the Gujarat University, which is the complainant in the case.

Senior Advocate Singhvi stated that the university is state-government funded and overall under the Central government’s control. When the bench asked why Singhvi should have apprehension, he said that it is about the overall system, adding that although in the petition he has requested to transfer his case to Kolkata, it can be anywhere else.

He asserted that Kolkata is a state where his political party is not affiliated.

Earlier on December 28, the Gujarat Court sought the production of MP Sanjay Singh even as it was informed that he was under arrest in connection with an alleged money laundering case.

The matter pertains to a criminal defamation case filed against Arvind Kejriwal and Sanjay Singh by the Gujarat University which alleged that the two politicians made defamatory statements against it for not disclosing the degree of PM Narendra Modi.

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