Kejriwal defamation case
Kejriwal defamation caseIANS

The Patiala House Court in New Delhi Thursday granted bail to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders who were sued by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in connection with the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) row last year.

The AAP leaders had alleged financial irregularities in the DDCA when Jaitley was the chief of the association from 1999 to 2013. They claimed that a large amount of money was siphoned off through fake companies during Jaitley's tenure, as the cost of reconstruction of the DDCA's cricket stadium Feroze Shah Kotla was initially set at Rs. 24 crore, but later increased to Rs. 114 crore between 2002 and 2007. 

Jaitley had filed a criminal suit in connection with the DDCA row in December last year. He recorded his statement at the Patiala House Court in January, accusing Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders of defaming him on social media, including Twitter and Facebook. He alleged that they made "defamatory" statements against him and his family members. 

The court asked the Delhi chief minister and other AAP leaders — Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Kumar Vishwas, Deepak Bajpai and AAP's national spokesperson Raghav Chadha — to furnish a personal bond of Rs 20,000 and a surety bond of the same amount, Asian News International (ANI) reported.

Advisor and MLA Gopal Mohan signed the surety for Kejriwal, while MLA Naresh Balyan signed it for Singh and MLA Nitin Tyagi for Vishwas. MLAs Sanjeev and Naresh Yadav signed the surety for Chaddha and Bajpai, respectively, and Delhi cabinet minister Imran Hussain signed it for Ashutosh.

The court will May 19 hear the argument on framing of charges against the six AAP leaders. The court had asked them to appear before it over the alleged offences under Sections 500 (criminal defamation) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code, ANI reported.