Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today stayed away from court here in a case filed against him by Sheila Dikshit's ex-political secretary for his alleged remarks against the former CM during power tariff hike protests of October, 2012.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Sanjay Bansal also allowed Kejriwal's plea for exemption from personal appearance in the case for the day only.
The court fixed the matter for April 5 for recording of evidence in the case.
It had earlier framed defamation charges against Kejriwal and put him on trial after he pleaded not guilty in the case.
Complainant Pawan Khera, former Officer on Special Duty and Political Secretary to Dikshit, had filed the case saying Kejriwal had used "false and filthy" language against the then chief minister in a television show.
While framing the charges, the court said that Kejriwal had defamed Khera and he had uttered the defamatory word with an intention to harm his reputation.
"By use of the said word... you defamed complainant Khera who (was) working as OSD/Political Secretary to Dikshit. You spoke the said word... intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputations will harm the reputation of complainant Khera and thus you defamed complainant and thereby you committed offence punishable under Section 500 (defamation) of the IPC and within my cognisance.
"Show cause why you should not be punished for the offence or do you have any defence to make," the CMM had said.
While pleading not guilty, Kejriwal had said in court that Khera was not an aggrieved person and contended that the complaint against him was false.
He had said that Khera was not a member of Congress party and nor had he disclosed in clear terms his relationship to Dikshit. Kejriwal had also said that there was proof available in the public domain showing that electricity distribution companies were given unexplainable benefits.