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PM Modi's fake degree row: SC stays court proceedings on Kejriwal

PM Modis fake degree row: SC stays court proceedings on Kejriwal

New Delhi: In the case of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'fake degree' row, based on a defamation complaint filed by the Gujarat University, the Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the proceedings by a trial court against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and AAP MP Sanjay Singh. The complaint was filed against Kejriwal's and Singh's alleged remarks about the PM's educational qualification, PTI reported.

A bench of Justices B R Gavai and Sandeep Mehta passed the order while hearing Singh's plea seeking a transfer of the case pending before a trial court in Gujarat outside the state, preferably in Kolkata.

The apex court asked the Gujarat High Court to take a decision within four weeks on a plea filed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders seeking quashing of the summonses issued to them by the trial court.

The bench said in the meantime, the proceedings before the trial court will remain stayed.

Singh, in his plea filed in the top court through advocate Karan Sharma, had alleged bias in the proceedings before the trial court, saying while the plea was pending before the high court, the trial judge was proceeding with the matter.

In August last year, the apex court refused to entertain Kejriwal's plea challenging the high court order that rejected his request to stay the criminal defamation proceedings filed by the university.

Gujarat University Registrar Piyush Patel had filed the defamation case against Kejriwal and Singh over their alleged comments after the Gujarat High Court set aside an order of the chief information commissioner for providing information about Modi's educational degrees to them under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

On August 11 last year, the high court rejected the plea moved by Kejriwal and Singh seeking an interim stay on the criminal defamation proceedings against them.

A Gujarat metropolitan court had earlier summoned Kejriwal and Singh in the defamation case over their alleged "sarcastic" and "derogatory" statements in connection with Modi's educational degrees.

The two AAP leaders subsequently filed a revision application in the sessions court, challenging the metropolitan court's summonses.

However, the sessions court rejected their plea for an interim stay on the trial, after which they approached the high court.

According to the complaint filed by Patel, the two leaders allegedly made "defamatory" statements at press conferences and on microblogging platform X, targeting the university over Modi's degrees.

Their comments targeting the Gujarat University were defamatory and hurt the prestige of the institution, which has established its name among the public, the complainant alleged.

"Their statements were sarcastic and intentionally made to hurt the prestige of the university," Patel said in his complaint.

On March 31 last year, the high court quashed a 2016 order of the Central Information Commission (CIC), which directed the Gujarat University to provide information on Modi's educational degrees to Kejriwal, observing that the AAP chief's RTI plea appeared to be "politically vexatious and motivated", instead of being based on "sound public interest considerations".

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TAGS:fake degreeAAPPM Modi
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