Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s Political Secretary Pawan Khera, through his lawyer Mehmood Pracha, on Monday sent a legal notice of civil and criminal defamation to India Against Corruption member Arvind Kejriwal and others in the wake of alleged derogatory remarks made by him to “maliciously defame the Chief Minister and thus all those working in close proximity with her.”
The notice, in particular, takes offence to the repeated use of the word “dalal” (broker) by Mr. Kejriwal to describe Ms. Dikshit during an interview.
In the notice, Mr. Pracha said Mr. Kejriwal’s “earlier unlawful campaign” to “defame and malign” the Chief Minister (and thus her office) “continues without any logical cause and only with the intent to gain publicity by unnecessarily sensationalising baseless allegations, which are evidently politically motivated”.
The notice mentioned that in an interview to Total TV on October 10, Mr. Kejriwal accused the Chief Minister and her government “of being a ‘dalal’ for big companies, who facilitates and enables profiteering at the cost of the common man”.
“As a result”, the notice said, “the entire Chief Minister’s entire office and the officials closely working therewith have been portrayed in a negative light and have been made to face an uncalled for humiliation, where their integrity and honesty is being put to doubt along with that of the Chief Minister.”
Stating that his client (Pawan Khera) “has been committed and dedicated to the cause of development in remote rural areas of the country” and that he left that sector as he was inspired by Ms. Dikshit who not only came from a family of distinguished freedom fighters but also because of her “sense of honesty, integrity and commitment to public service,” Mr. Pracha claimed the repeated reference to the word “dalal” by Mr. Kejriwal in the interview had caused “damage to the otherwise absolutely impeccable and clean image” of his client on account of his association with the Chief Minister.
In the notice, Mr. Pracha demanded that Mr. Kejriwal “immediately withdraw all the allegations and aspersions made” against Ms. Dikshit on the same channel as also on three other prominent channels and newspapers.
He also sought an “unconditional public apology” and demanded that the respondent “refrain from committing any such act(s), i.e. using foul and filthy language unbecoming of civil public discourse, in future.”