The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and four of its members, including Alka Lamba, to submit their written statements in response to a a defamation plea moved against them by former party member Vinod Kumar Binny.
Justice Manmohan Singh also asked Binny to file his written statements and listed the matter before the Joint Registrar on January 7, 2015 for completion of pleadings.
The court was hearing Binny’s civil defamation suit seeking damages from AAP, Lamba, and three other party members – Manoj Kumar, Raju Dhinghan and Bandana Kumari – for allegedly maligning his reputation by their “false defamatory remarks and illegal protests”.
He has sought from AAP punitive damages of one rupee, to be deposited in a blind school, Rs 50 lakh from Lamba and Rs 50 lakh total from the other three party members.
In his plea filed through advocate Rahul Raj Malik, the legislator has also sought orders restraining the party and its members from “publishing, republishing, issuing statements in debates or any discussion or reporting or publicising in any other manner matter of any kind directly or indirectly implicating or holding the plaintiff (Binny) guilty for remarks posted against the defendants (Lamba and others) by unknown or third persons.”
“The reputation of the plaintiff has been severely destroyed by the defendants through the medium of national television channels, print media and also social media with the sole objective of furthering their political ambitions, settling personal scores by resorting to vendetta politics,” the plea has alleged.
An FIR was recently lodged by Cyber Cell of Delhi Police against Binny and 37 others under section 66A (sending offensive messages through communication service) of the IT ACT and sections 354D (stalking) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of IPC, on Lambas complaint.
According to the petition, Lamba had alleged in her complaint that Binny, the Lakshmi Nagar MLA, had falsely alleged on social media that she was running a sex racket at her house.
Binny, in his plea, has refuted the allegations and has contended that the statement made by Lamba that he had made such remarks on social networking site Facebook amounts to defaming him and damaging his reputation. He also claimed the same has caused a loss of Rs two crore to him.
He has contended that somebody had created a fake account in Binny’s name with an intention to malign him and the same has been brought to the attention of the cyber cell as well as the Police Commissioner but no action has been taken against the person(s) responsible.
“Pass a decree of permanent injunction restraining the defendants their associates, their agents, representatives, correspondents, officers, employees and/or any other person from staging illegal or unlawful or unauthorised protests against the plaintiff.
“Pass a decree in favour of the plaintiff awarding a sum of Rs 50,00,000 against defendant 1 (Lamba) and a sum of Rs 50,00,000 against defendants 2 (Manoj Kumar), 3 (Raju Dhighan) and 4 (Bandana Kumari) jointly, towards compensation for the loss of reputation, defamation, mental pain and harassment caused to the plaintiff,” the defamation suit has said.
Binny was expelled in January this year by AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal for engaging in “anti-party” activity.