New Delhi: Another page has been added to the Arun Jaitley-Arvind Kejriwal defamation case, with the finance minister filing a fresh Rs 10-crore suit against the Delhi chief minister after his lawyer Ram Jethmalani called him a “crook” during a cross examination.
During the case proceedings in the Delhi high court on May 17, Jaitley had taken a strong objection to the use of the terminology against him by the veteran lawyer. The Wire had earlier reported that a heated exchange had taken place between Jaitley and Jethmalani during the fourth day of cross examination in the civil defamation case filed the former seeking Rs 10 crore in damages from Kejriwal and five other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders – Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai – for accusing him of financial irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) of which he was the president from 2000 to 2013. Jaitley had separately also filed a criminal complaint against the AAP leaders.
While cross-examining Jaitley that day, Jethmalani had claimed that a weekly magazine had refused to publish an article he authored on irregularities in the DCCA due to Jaitley’s influence. He had also gone on to add that the article was about the corruption which took place in the DDCA when Jaitley was its president.
While trying to convey that a lot of corruption had taken place during Jaitley’s tenure as the DDCA’s chief, Jethmalani used the word deemed objectionable by Jaitley, which evoked a strong response from the finance minister who threatened to seek aggravated damages from the defendants if the word was spoken at their behest. Jethmalani had subsequently contended that he had acted with his client’s consent.
In his fresh defamation suit, Jaitley has accused Jethmalani of allegedly abusing him in the court during the proceedings of the earlier defamation case. His advocate, Manik Dogra, told a section of the media that the fresh civil defamation suit has been filed against Kejriwal as he, through his counsel, had used abusive language in the open court, which was also recorded in the order sheet. This, he said, had necessitated the filing of a separate defamation case.
(With PTI inputs)