New Delhi: Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court on Tuesday directed Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Kumar Gupta and AAP MP candidate Atishi to appear before it on June 7 in connection with a defamation case filed against them by Delhi BJP leader Rajiv Babbar.

Babbar had sought proceeding against the leaders for allegedly harming the reputation of BJP by blaming it for the deletion of the names of voters from the electoral rolls in Delhi.

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The court had earlier taken cognisance of the defamation complaint filed against Kejriwal and others by Babbar.

“All the accused made accusations against BJP in a calculated manner with the sole intention to portray a negative image of BJP in relation to the voters belonging to certain sections of society viz. Bania, Poorvanchalis, Muslims etc. The reputation of the complainant has been damaged beyond repair,” Babbar had said.

In a tweet in December last year, Kejriwal had said that the deleted voters included “4 lakh baniyas, 8 lakh Muslims, 15 lakh poorvanchalis and 3 lakh rest.”

The court had noted the submission by Election Commission of India (EC) which refuted the allegations by AAP leaders as “baseless and without facts”. The poll panel insisted that addition and deletion was an exercise that was undertaken without any influence of any political party or private agency.

Meanwhile, AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj had alleged that Delhi Police, under political pressure, filed hundreds of cases against AAP leaders. “Most of these cases fell flat in courts and police have been pulled for filing motivated cases. We believe news of summons and chargesheets in frivolous cases always get media traction. However, news of courts discharging AAP leaders gets smaller space,” he said.