Delete defamatory posts against L-G Saxena: Delhi HC orders AAP
In a significant win for Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to take down defamatory social media posts against him over an alleged Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) scam. The ruling came in Saxena's defamation case against the AAP and five of its leaders for making derogatory statements alleging corruption against him.
Why does this story matter?
- The ruling AAP and the BJP-led central government have been embroiled in a political battle over Delhi's liquor policy.
- Saxena assumed charge as Delhi's L-G in May. In July, he recommended a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the 2021-22 Delhi Excise Policy, flagging alleged corruption.
- However, the AAP later claimed that Saxena was involved in corruption when he was the KVIC chairman.
What did the Delhi High Court rule?
In an interim order, Justice Amit Bansal stated, "I have passed an ad-interim injunction order in favor of the plaintiff [Saxena]." Bansal ordered the AAP and five party leaders to delete all derogatory and false social media posts linking Saxena to the alleged Khadi scam. The AAP leaders named in Saxena's defamation suit include Atishi, Saurabh Bharadwaj, Durgesh Pathak, Sanjay Singh, and Jasmine Shah.
AAP linked Saxena to Rs. 1,400 crore KVIC scam
After Saxena sought a CBI probe into Delhi's excise policy, the AAP claimed that as the KVIC Chairman in 2016, Saxena allegedly pressured employees to exchange demonetized currency worth Rs. 1,400 crore. The party has also demanded a probe into the matter by the CBI. "There should be an independent inquiry in this case [to bring out the truth]," AAP MLA Bharadwaj earlier said.
Saxena refuted the allegations
After the AAP leveled corruption allegations, Saxena refuted the same last month, saying they were a "figment of their imagination." "This has been the hallmark of [Arvind] Kejriwal to shoot and scoot," LG office said. It also rejected the allegations against Saxena, terming them "defamatory" and "blatantly false." "The L-G...has decided to take legal action...so that AAP does not get away," its statement said.
Tussle between Saxena and AAP
In his defamation suit, Saxena also reportedly sought Rs. 2.5cr in damages and compensation, along with interest, from the AAP and its five leaders. Notably, the feud between the L-G and Arvind Kejriwal's administration in the national capital intensified after central agencies began investigating the excise policy case. The CBI named Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and 14 others as accused in its FIR.