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Delhi HC notice to Kejriwal over second defamation suit filed by Jaitley

Chief minister Kejriwal’s response was sought and the court set July 26 for next date of hearing

india Updated: May 28, 2017 00:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Arun Jaitley has sought a total of Rs 20 crore in damages from Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in two separate libel litigations.
Arun Jaitley has sought a total of Rs 20 crore in damages from Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in two separate libel litigations. (HT file photo)

The Delhi High Court issued a notice to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday over the second defamation suit filed by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley.

Joint registrar Pankaj Gupta sought the AAP leader’s response to the Rs 10 crore damages claimed by Jaitley and posted the case for hearing on July 26.

The legal action by the Union minister on Monday 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 using names that he found objectionable.

“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.

“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,” Jaitley’s Monday petition said.

The five other AAP leaders accused in the first defamation suit are Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai.

First Published: May 23, 2017 14:02 IST

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