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Case of the week: Cop, so hurt he can't concentrate on work, gets defamation summons vs Kejriwal who used slang term

A Delhi court on Saturday issued summons to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for allegedly using the word "thulla" - derogatory Delhi slang for cop - to describe policemen.

The case deals with a defamation complaint filed against Kejriwal by constable Ajay Kumar Taneja of Lajpat Nagar police station, claiming he was "hurt" by the chief minister's remark and felt "insulted and defamed".

Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey issued the summons to Kejriwal and asked him to appear on 14 July.

"Prima facie, the court is satisfied that an offence punishable under section 499/500 (defamation) the Indian Penal code is committed by Arvind Kejriwal. So he be summoned for the same," the magistrate said.

The complainant said Kejriwal has allegedly used the word "thulla" to describe policemen in an interview to a India Today on 7 July, 2015.

'Thulla' is a derogatory slang commonly used in Delhi to refer to policemen.

In his interview Kejriwal said: "A case can be lodged by the Anti-Corruption Branch against anyone for being involved in corrupt practices. But these people say you can't lodge a case against members of the Delhi Police. If a 'thulla' of the Delhi Police asks a roadside vendor for money, a case should not be registered against him, this is not acceptable."

Taneja's counsel LN Rao told the court that his client is known to be a member of the Delhi police force, and the chief minister's "derogatory" remark has lowered the esteem of the constable among his relatives, friends and general public at large.

During his examination as a witness in the case Taneja said: "It was found that Kejriwal did use the word 'thulla' to describe Delhi Police personnel".

"If a word like 'thulla' is used by an eminent personality like Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, to refer to personnel of Delhi Police, then the general public would have no respect or regard for police personnel who dedicate their entire lives to maintaining law and order in the capital," the complainant said in his plea.

"Due to acute agony and hurt caused by the attitude of Kejriwal towards the Delhi Police, the complainant was unable to concentrate on his job as he was very much disturbed," the plea added.

Taneja has been working in Delhi Police as a constable since 1986.

Several other defamation cases have also been filed against Kejriwal by political leaders, including Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari and Ramesh Bidhuri, and some advocates between 2013 and 2016.

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