In a recent development, a sessions court in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, upheld the summons issued to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders Arvind Kejriwal and Sanjay Singh. They are required to appear in a criminal defamation case regarding their comments about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s educational qualifications. The trial court had initially issued these summons, and the AAP leaders sought to challenge them.
Sessions Judge J M Brahmbhatt stated that the trial court’s order was “neither illegal nor erroneous.” The criminal defamation case against the AAP leaders was filed by Gujarat University (GU), and it relates to comments made by Kejriwal and Singh about Modi’s degree being possibly “fake” or “bogus.”
Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, and Singh, a Rajya Sabha member, had made “sarcastic” and “derogatory” comments about Prime Minister Modi’s educational credentials. Their statements raised questions about the legitimacy of Modi’s degree and targeted Gujarat University, where Modi had studied.
According to the complaint filed by the GU registrar, Kejriwal questioned, “If there is a degree and it is genuine, then why is it not being given?” Singh added that Gujarat University was trying to “prove the PM’s fake degree as genuine.”
Kejriwal’s lawyer argued that Gujarat University was similar to a “state entity” and hence could not file defamation cases. They also questioned the authority of the registrar who had filed the complaint. The sessions court rejected these arguments, stating that while the government had some control over GU, it remained an independent university.
Before this, the matters were directed to another judge by the Gujarat High Court. The High Court had instructed that the case should be decided within 10 days after being assigned to a new court.
The AAP leaders will now have to appear before the trial court for the next hearing, as their pleas challenging the summons were dismissed. The case has reignited debates about the transparency and accountability of public figures, especially regarding their educational qualifications.