AAP Leader Ashutosh Fined Rs 10k For 'Trying To Derail' Arun Jaitley Defamation Case

| January 7 , 2018 , 14:17 IST

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Ashutosh, a former journalist, has been fined Rs 10,000 by a Delhi court on charges of "trying to derail the proceedings" in a criminal defamation case filed against him by Arun Jaitley by seeking to re-record statements of the senior BJP leader in Hindi.

The court said that the AAP leader, who is a published author in English, moved the application for re-recording in Hindi even though he did not have even a "slight discomfiture in English".

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 precious time of the court" in regards to the defamation case.

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"The present application seems to be nothing but an attempt to derail the proceedings of the case and waste precious time of the court having moved with no serious or real purpose. First of all, neither the applicant (Ashutosh) nor his pleader (advocate) can be said to be having even a slight discomfiture in English language," Sherawat said.

"The applicant is author of well known book in English titled as '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," he added.

The court noted that the application itself had been written in English and that recording of evidence in Hindi was not possible due to infrastructure and technical restrictions.

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

Arun Jaitley had filed a criminal defamation case in 2015, against Ashutosh, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP leaders such as Kumar Vishwas, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai. Jaitley sought Rs 10 crore in damages, alleging the AAP leaders of making  false statements accusing financial irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) of he was the president from 2000 to 2013.