Jaitley files fresh defamation case of Rs 10 crore against Delhi CM Kejriwal
Arun Jaitley filed the fresh suit after Arvind Kejriwal’s counsel Ram Jethmalani allegedly abused him in open court during the proceedings of another defamation suit he had filed against the AAP chief and five other party leaders.Updated: May 23, 2017 09:30 IST
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley filed on Monday a second defamation suit against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and sought Rs 10 crore in damages.
The legal action compounded the Aam Aadmi Party leader’s troubles. Kejriwal is battling bribery charges by a former colleague and internal feuds after losses in the Punjab and Goa assembly elections this April and the municipal polls in New Delhi.
Jaitley charged the chief minister and five of his party colleagues with defamation in 2015.
The AAP politicians accused the BJP leader of corruption when he was president of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) for 13 years since 2000. Jaitley dismissed the charges as false.
Last week, while cross-examining Jaitley in that case, senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, appearing for Kejriwal, referred to the finance minister as “crook”.
“This statement is not only false, baseless, malicious and abusive, but is per se defamatory,” the new petition filed by Jaitley said.
“Clearly, the defendant (Kejriwal) has brazenly and with a malafide intent to cause further prejudice, damage and loss to the name, reputation and credibility of the plaintiff (Jaitley) has deliberately used the terminology against the plaintiff,” the petition added.
Jethmalani told the court that he used the word against Jaitley under Kejriwal’s instructions.
But Anupam Srivastav, the advocate on record for Kejriwal, submitted that there was no such directive from the chief minister.
The proceedings ended abruptly after lawyers of Jaitley and Kejriwal quarreled.
Jaitley warned Jethmalani that he will “aggravate” the charges against Kejriwal.
His new petition said Jethmalani made a further defamatory remark during his cross-examination that he is “guilty”.
“These per se defamatory statements made on specific and categorical instructions of the defendant are politically motivated to cause serious damages to the reputation of the plaintiff in an entirely irreversible manner,” the petition said.
The five other AAP leaders accused in the first defamation suit are Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai.