PM Modi's degree row: Gujarat High Court rejects pleas by Arvind Kejriwal, Sanjay Singh to quash summons [16.2.2024]

The Gujarat High Court on Friday dismissed pleas by Aam Aadmi Party leaders Arvind Kejriwal and Sanjay Singh to quash the summons issued against them in a criminal defamation case over their comments on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's educational qualification.

Through their pleas, Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal and AAP's Rajya Sabha member Singh had challenged the summons by a trial court in the case filed by Gujarat University and the subsequent order of the sessions court dismissing their revision applications against the summons.

Rejecting their applications, Justice Hasmukh Suthar directed the two AAP leaders to make their submissions before the trial court.

Seeking the quashing of the summons, the two leaders had said that Gujarat University (GU) cannot file a defamation case before a magistrate court and rather should move the sessions court.

The metropolitan court had summoned Kejriwal and Singh on April 15 last year in the defamation case filed by GU over their sarcastic and derogatory statements in connection with PM Modi's degree.

The two leaders then filed a revision application in the sessions court challenging the summons.

However, the sessions court upheld the summons, after which they approached the Gujarat HC, which rejected their plea for an interim stay.

The two leaders also approached the Supreme Court, which too refused to entertain their pleas.

The HC later directed the sessions court to conclude the hearing within ten days after assigning the matter to a new bench.

GU registrar Piyush Patel had filed a defamation case against Kejriwal and Singh after the HC in March last year set aside the Central Information Commission (CIC) order concerning PM Modi's educational qualification.

While the court imposed a cost of Rs 25,000 upon Kejriwal, it also refused to grant a stay on the order.

Kejriwal and Singh made defamatory statements in press conferences and on social media targeting the university over Modi's degree, GU had said in its complaint.

16 Feb 2024