The Delhi High Court granted permanent exemption on Tuesday to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal from appearing in person before a trial court in a criminal defamation case filed by Amit Sibal, lawyer son of former union minster Kapil Sibal.
However, Justice Mukta Gupta granted the trial court the liberty to modify the order and direct the Aam Aadmi Party leader to appear before it whenever required if the proceedings in the matter are delayed due to his absence.
Kejriwal has moved a plea seeking permanent exemption from personal appearance before a trial court in the defamation case filed against him by Amit Sibal stating that it was not possible for him to appear on each and every date as he had to look many things being Delhi's Chief Minister.
The court was hearing a defamation case filed by Amit Sibal after Kejriwal, during a press conference in 2013, alleged conflict of interest over his appearing in the Supreme Court for telecom major Vodafone while his father was Communication Minister.
This comes after the Supreme Court in November asked the Delhi High Court to decide on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's plea to quash the defamation proceedings against him by Amit Sibal.
Amit Sibal is also a senior lawyer practising at the apex court. Remanding the matter back to the High Court, the apex court bench of Justice AK Sikri and Justice (Mrs) R. Banumathi, had then made it clear that the proceedings before the trial court would go on.
The court said this as senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi expressed the apprehension that remanding the matter to the High Court may be used to seek the stay on the proceeding.
Amit Sibal filed the defamation case against Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan for alleging the conflict of interest.