New Delhi: A court here Friday issued summons to former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in a defamation case filed by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari for calling him “corrupt”.

Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha has asked Kejriwal to appear April 7 on the next date of hearing.

The court said: “In view of the testimony of the witnesses, including the deposition of the complainant and other evidence produced on record as discussed herein above, the impugned statements allegedly made by Kejriwal have the effect of harming the reputation of the complainant and lowering his estimation in the eyes of others.”

The court observed that these statements were widely published.

“Also, it has been alleged that these statements are false and were made maliciously in order to get political mileage and media attentions, without there being any basis for making these statements,” the court noted.

The court ordered that in these circumstances, it is prima-facie satisfied that there is sufficient material on record to proceed against the accused for the offence under sections 499/500 of the IPC.

The court added that it will consider the material before it and shear the accused on whether an offence has been committed which can be legally tried.

The complaint filed by Gadkari said that on Jan 31, “Kejriwal deliberately released the list of ‘India’s most corrupt’ people mentioning his (Gadkari’s) name in a grossly irresponsible manner”.

Advocate Pinki Anand, appearing for the Bharatiya Janata Party leader, told the court that Kejriwal made the statement with malafide intention to lower Gadkari’s dignity.

The court Feb 18 had recorded the statements of Gadkari and two other witnesses.

Kejriwal “has deliberately tried to malign (Gadkari’s) image though he is not involved in any wrongful or corrupt act”, the complaint stated.

It also requested the court to act against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief and prosecute him for defaming the former BJP president.

Gadkari had told the court that false, baseless, scandalous, defamatory statements and news items by Kejriwal against him have been widely published, circulated and read by public at large and have lowered his dignity in the eyes of public.

Being then the chief minister, Kejriwal failed to maintain the dignity of the post by making a false statement, the petition said.

Source: IANS