Delhi court imposed Rs 10,000 on AAP leader Ashutosh

Delhi court imposed Rs 10,000 on AAP leader Ashutosh

A Delhi court has imposed a cost of Rs 10,000 on AAP leader Ashutosh for "trying to derail proceedings"  while seeking the re-recording of a statement by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley  in Hindi in a criminal defamation case.

The court said the AAP leader moved the application even though he did not have even a "slight discomfiture in English".

Jaitley had filed the criminal defamation case in 2015 against Ashutosh, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP leaders  for making allegedly false statements about  financial irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association, of which the BJP leader was the president from 2000 to 2013.

While dismissing Ashutosh's plea, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat said the AAP leader's application was "an attempt to derail the proceedings of the case and waste the precious time of the court".

"The applicant is the author of a well-known book in English titled 'Anna: 13 Days That Awakened India' and he can be seen giving interviews in English day in and day out on English news channels and elsewhere," the court said.

It noted that  Ashutosh's request to re-record  Jaitley's statement itself was written in English.

The court also noted that the recording of evidence in Hindi was not possible  as the computers being used supported only English software.

"The application has been filed to protract the proceedings and is dismissed with a cost of Rs 10,000," it said, directing Ashutosh to deposit the amount with the 'Army Welfare Fund Battle Causalities'.

Jaitley had charged the accused with making a series of false, scandalous and defamatory allegations, claiming it had adversely affected his reputation.

All the six accused were on put on trial in the case on March 25,  2017. The notice was framed against the accused under section 500 (punishment for defamation) of the IPC to which they had pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.

A civil defamation suit was also filed by Jaitley before the Delhi High Court seeking Rs 10 crore as damages.

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