A court in Ahmedabad has on May 23 issued fresh summons to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and AAP M P Sanjay Singh in a criminal defamation case filed by Gujarat University over their sarcastic and derogatory remarks questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s academic degree and tarnishing its goodwill and reputation.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate S J Panchal sought personal appearance of both the leaders after noting that summons issued earlier for their appearance on May 23 couldn’t be served on them for some reasons.
Advocate Amit Nair, representing GU, informed the court that his predecessor had issued the process on April 15 for their appearance.
The varsity has filed a criminal defamation case against AAP leaders’ “sarcastic and derogatory” statements against it with regard to Modi’s degree. The varsity has argued that Kejriwal and Singh’s alleged derogatory statements in the press “tarnished its goodwill image.”
The court complaint mentions the two AAP leaders saying in the press conference held in Delhi on April 1 and 2, “A few degrees here and there....if the degree is there and it is genuine, then why is the degree not being given? Why Gujarat University and Delhi University are not providing the degrees? Why are you not giving information? The degree is not being given because the degree may be fake. If the Prime Minister studied at Delhi University and Gujarat University, then Gujarat University should celebrate the fact that he is our boy who became the Prime Minister of the country. But the varsity is trying to hide the degree.”
Modi is reported to have obtained his graduation degree from GU.
The defamation case was filed by GU through its registrar Piyush Patel on April 12.
The court had ordered an inquiry into the complaint under section 202 of the Code of criminal procedure (CrPC).
Earlier, on March 31, Gujarat High Court quashed the Chief Information Commission’s 2016 order directing the varsity to provide the post-graduate degree of Modi under the Right to Information Act to Kejriwal. The court not only quashed Kejriwal’s plea seeking Modi’s degree, but it also imposed a cost of Rs 25,000 on Kejriwal.
The HC had held that the CIC had transgressed jurisdiction and embarked into an arena of political thicket,' by directing the Gujarat University to disclose the degree of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in "a fishing and roving inquiry" at the oral request of Delhi CM Kejriwal for "extraneous considerations".
The court had also pointed out Kejriwal persisted with the matter before it despite the degree in question being put on the website of the petitioner University for all to see.