New Delhi, Oct 22: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Monday sent a legal notice to activist Arvind Kejriwal for his “derogatory remarks” against her. The Congress, however, downplayed the development.
Kejriwal earlier responded by saying that he would continue to target the Congress leader over “anti-people” actions of her government.
The legal notice was sent to Kejriwal by Pawan Khera, political secretary to the chief minister, for civil and criminal defamation and called upon the India Against Corruption (IAC) activist to immediately withdraw all the allegations and aspersions he made against the chief minister.
“If the (chief minister’s) secretary has given a notice, it is better to ask him. He is not a Congress member. He has to answer this, not the party,” Congress spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit, Sheila Dikshit’s son, told reporters.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman slammed Sheila Dikshit over the legal notice, saying that the Congress did not want to give answers to the issues raised. “It is typical DNA of the Congress. (They) won’t answer,” Sitharaman said.
In his statement, Khera said that legal action has been initiated due to “derogatory remarks by Kejriwal meant to maliciously defame the chief minister and thus all those working in close proximity to her. A case in point being use of the word ‘dalaal’ (broker) for the chief minister in a talk show recently”.
The notice, sent through advocate Mehmood Pracha, gave Kejriwal two days to comply with it. It asked Kejriwal to “immediately withdraw all the allegations and aspersions” against Dikshit which had defamed her and her office “in the talk show at least on three prominent TV channels and newspapers in equal, if not more, prominence than the original defamatory content”.
The notice asked Kejriwal to “tender an unconditional public apology to my client to her satisfaction through print and electronic media with regard to the said baseless allegations and aspersions and using foul and filthy language”.
It called upon Kejriwal to refrain from using “foul and filthy language” unbecoming of civil public discourse in the future.
“In case of failure to comply with this notice within a period of two days of receipt of this legal notice, you shall render yourselves jointly and severally liable to face appropriate civil as well as criminal proceedings under the relevant provisions of law at your risk as to cost and consequences,” the notice said.
Kejriwal, who Monday joined a BSES employees’ protest near Karkardooma court, said: “You can send me as many notices as possible. We are not scared of notices.”
The IAC leader said it was the Dikshit government’s actions which were defaming her.
“Yes, we are defaming her. Actually no, it is her actions which are defaming her,” Kejriwal added.
“I have been informed that a legal notice has been sent to me. I would like to tell her (Dikshit) that we will be defaming you (her) till you and your government keep working against the people. We are not scared of any legal notice.”
Kejriwal has sharply attacked the Delhi government over hike in power tariff in an indication that the issue could be a poll plank of his yet-to-be named political party. Kejriwal has talked of collusion between the government and power distribution companies and has been taking part in protests over “inflated” power bills.
–Indo-asian news service