The Patiala House Court today admitted a criminal defamation suit filed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders for accusing him of corruption in Delhi’s cricket body, which he headed for 13 years till 2013.
The next hearing has been scheduled for 5 January, 2016 at 2pm. AAP has been given two weeks to prepare its defence.
“The present complaint has been filed in personal capacity. On perusing the material on record, I take cognizance of the offences. Matter be now put up for complainant evidence on January 5,” Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Khanagwal said.
The present complaint has been filed in personal capacity. On perusing the material on record, I take cognizance of the offences. Matter be now put up for complainant evidence on January 5,” Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Khanagwal said.
Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, who appeared for Jaitley, told the court that the accused Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders have made completely baseless and defamatory allegations against the Finance Minister regarding alleged financial irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).
“ Jaitley has not drawn a single penny from the DDCA. Completely baseless and defamatory allegations have been levelled against him and his family members,” Luthra said.
Jaitley has sought Rs 10 crore as damages from Kejriwal and other AAP leaders -- Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpayee -- for their alleged defamatory remarks.
Jaitley was accompanied by ministers Piyush Goyal, Smriti Irani, JP Nadda, Nalin Kohli among others.
“The entire party is with Arun Jaitley ji. We are proud of him, this issue (#DDCA )is politically motivated,” said Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy.
Meanwhile, Union minister of state, commerce and industry Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted out in support of Jaitley while he was recording his statement at the Patiala House.
1/n Shri @arunjaitley - a gentleman with a clean political career. What a shame that baseless allegations are being thrown at him! Only...— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) December 21, 2015
2/n right that Shri @arunjaitley is challenging through the courts. Also Pol.Parties should accept to debate this in parl as offered by him.— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) December 21, 2015
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress Party have demanded for the resignation of the Finance Minister from the union cabinet to enable an independent probe against him.
Advocate Manik Dogra said the civil suit on behalf of Jaitley would come up in the normal course of listing.
Jaitley’s action comes in the backdrop of attacks on him by Kejriwal and other AAP leaders over alleged irregularities and financial bunglings in Delhi’s cricket body, Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), of which he was the president for about 13 years till 2013.
The Union minister had on Sunday said that he would also file a criminal defamation case against Kejriwal and other five AAP leaders at Patiala House court.
He chose not to give any legal notice to Kejriwal and other AAP leaders asking them to apologise or face defamation cases. Instead, the case was straightaway filed in the court.