The court's observation came after Kejriwal did not appear before it on the ground that he was busy in campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections.

"The accused is directed to positively appear before the court on May 21," Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha said while allowing the plea filed by Kejriwal's lawyer seeking exemption from personal appearance for the day.

During the hearing, the counsel appearing for Gadkari opposed the plea filed by Kejriwal's counsel, saying the AAP leader should have appeared before the court on Monday.

The court had summoned Kejriwal as an accused in the criminal defamation complaint observing that statements allegedly made by the AAP leader have the effect of ‘harming the reputation’ of the complainant.

The summon was issued against Kejriwal on a complaint in which Gadkari had alleged that he was defamed by the AAP chief, who had included his name in the party's list of ‘India's most corrupt’.

Gadkari had earlier said that Kejriwal had on January 31 this year issued a list of alleged ‘India's most corrupt’ in which he had named various politicians, including him.

(JPN/Agencies)

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