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DDCA urges HC not to consider replies of Kejriwal, Kirti Azad

New Delhi: DDCA has urged Delhi High Court not to take on record the replies of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and cricketer-turned-MP Kirti Azad to its defamation suit seeking Rs two-and-half crore each as damages from them, as these have been filed late.

Kejriwal and suspended BJP MP Azad are facing defamation suit filed by the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) for alleged defamatory criticism of the functioning and finances of the cricket body.

The DDCA, while seeking that the written submissions of the two politicians in the civil suit should not be considered, has told the court that while Kejriwal was late by 16 days, Azad has filed his response after almost 70 days of the stipulated period.

High Court’s Joint Registrar Anil Kumar Sisodia, who presides over the procedural aspects of a civil suit before it is heard in a court, has reserved its order for February 3 on the issue whether the replies would be taken on record or not.

Kejriwal and Azad have filed separate applications seeking condonation of delays in filing their respective written statements in the defamation suit.

DDCA, represented by advocate Sangram Patnaik, submitted that the Registrar’s court on March 2 last year had granted 30 days time to them to file written statements.

The counsel for Kejriwal submitted that since the Chief Minister was busy, the delay in filing his reply should be condoned. Azad’s counsel said the MP was busy in Parliament, so his reply should also be accepted and the delay condoned.

DDCA had earlier alleged that Kejriwal “with prior motive, indulged in certain false, shocking, scandalous, defamatory, baseless, slanderous, malicious, disgraceful and outrageous statements which are defamatory against them”.

The cricketing body had also said that statements against DDCA were made to create a serious dent on its image and a “notion of public outcry”.

DDCA has also claimed that the allegations regarding financial irregularities and corruption in selections at junior level were “maligning the image” of the cricket body.