In a blow of sorts to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the defamation suit filed against him by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed a plea by the AAP leader that sought to challenge the decision of the judge to expedite hearing. The court was hearing a matter related to the civil defamation suit filed by Jaitley against Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar dismissed the plea saying it is "devoid of merit".
The bench observed that expediting of the trial is the "need of the hour" and recommended in all cases.
It also said the plea against the court directions was "misconceived" and "with the intention" to protract the hearing.
Earlier, the division bench had slammed Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party leader Ashutosh and said it was hearing for the first time that a party is aggrieved due to expeditious trial of a matter.
On July 26, the single judge had directed the joint registrar to expedite the recording of evidence in the civil defamation suit while disposing of an application filed by Jaitley.
The court's order had come on an application filed by Jaitley to expedite the recording of evidence in an orderly and fair manner in the Rs 10 crore Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) defamation suit against Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders that the Minister filed in 2015.
Jaitley had filed the civil defamation suit against Kejriwal, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpayee, claiming they made "false and defamatory" statements in the case involving the DDCA, thereby harming his reputation.