In some fresh trouble for Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday slapped another defamation case against the former for the use of an “objectionable” word by Delhi Chief Minister’s lawyer Ram Jethmalani in the High Court recently. This was Jaitley’s second legal suit against Kejriwal after already taking Delhi CM to court for levelling of ‘false’ corruption charges. It was reported that Jethmalani, who was representing Kejriwal in court, used objectionable language against Jaitley.
Here are the 7 developments leading up to the current status of the case so far:
1) Five Aam Aadmi Party leaders, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had alleged that Jaitley was involved in irregularities and financial bungling during his tenure as chairman of Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), a post he had held from 2000 to 2013.
2) Taking serious congnizance of the charges, Arun Jaitely filed a civil defamation suit seeking Rs 10 crore damages from Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders. Jaitley claimed that leaders made “false and defamatory” statements in the case involving DDCA, thereby harming his reputation. The five leaders dragged to court by Jaitley include Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai.
3) Arvind Kejriwal hired noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani to represent his case in the court.
4) Meanwhile, another controversy broke out as the Bharatiya Janata Party alleged Arvind Kejriwal used public money to pay his lawyer’s fee in the case. Kejriwal, however remained defiant, and said that he made the comments in public interest. “The defamation case against me was filed after I made remarks on Arun Jaitley, I had made those remarks in public interest, why should I pay?” Kejriwal had said. “In Delhi there was massive corruption in cricket. You must have heard of DDCA. It was heavily corrupt. Youngsters used to come to me and complain that money is sought for selection.”
5) Jethmalani, during the cross-examination of the Minister on May 17, used a word which Jaitley had found objectionable. Press Trust of India reported that a day after, Justice Manmohan, who was hearing a connected matter, termed Kejriwal’s lawyer’s remarks as “scandalous”. The term used was ‘crook’.
6) Further increasing Kejriwal’s troubles, Ram Jethmalani later said that he used the objectionable term against Jaitley on his client’s instruction, Indian Express reported. However, Anupam Srivastav, advocate on record for Kejriwal, had submitted that there was no instruction on the use of the word by the Chief Minister. However, Jethmalani clarified that the advocate was not present at that particular meet.
7) Jaitley, who terming the word as not only “false, baseless, malicious and abusive, but is per se defamatory”, filed a fresh suit for another Rs 10 crore against Kejriwal and stated that he was “subjected to numerous questions, terminologies/statements that are ex-facie abusive, malicious, offensive, irrelevant and slanderous”.