Defamation proceedings against Arvind Kejriwal for retweeting YouTuber Dhruv Rathee’s video on BJP IT Cell: SC extends stay and posts matter to August 12

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Today (May 13, 2024), the Supreme Court (SC) of India extended the stay on defamation proceedings against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on a request by the Senior Counsel appearing for him (Abhishek Manu Singhvi). The criminal defamation case was filed against him for retweeting YouTuber Dhruv Rathee’s video, on social media platform ‘X’, making certain allegations against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) IT Cell. The bench constituting Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Dipankar Datta posted the matter for hearing to August 12, 2024, with directions for an ‘interim order to continue’. During the proceedings today, SA Singhvi approached the SC and submitted that an option for settlement between the parties could be explored. It further asked to allow some time for the parties to explore the possibility of settlement. The bench said “Okay. Do the needful. Relist in the week commencing 12th August, 2024.” The counsel appearing for the complainant, Vikas Sankrityayan, said that after the last hearing, nobody contacted them for settlement. The SC bench then told the counsel that now someone from Kejriwal's side would get in touch with the complainant. Earlier on February 26, 2024, the SC bench adjourned defamation proceedings against Delhi CM until March 11. While the matter was heard by the SC bench in March 2024, the top Court asked the complainant to give a format of apology doubt from Kejriwal on public platforms. Also, the SC clarified that if the parties fail to resolve the matter then whether retweeting constitutes a criminal offence would be taken up as a legal issue and would be decided.