Free Press Journal

Defamation: Delhi High Court rejects Kejriwal’s plea to trash Jaitley’s reply


New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today dismissed Arvind Kejriwal’s plea seeking striking down of Arun Jaitley’s reply in the second Rs 10 crore defamation suit filed against the Chief Minister, saying the additional issues raised by the Union Minister were “relevant”.

The Delhi Chief Minister had sought that the replication (reply) filed by Jaitley in response to his written submission in the second defamation lawsuit be trashed on several grounds including that the usage of ‘scandalous’ words by his former counsel was based on hearsay.

Justice Manmohan said the additional points raised by Jaitley in his replication to Kejriwal’s written submission were “relevant” as they “crystalise” the Union Minister’s stand and thus, “can neither be termed scandalous, nor frivolous or vexatious or unnecessary or abuse of process of law”.

The court, however, gave Kejriwal four weeks to rebut the additional contentions of the BJP leader.

The second suit had claimed that the then counsel of the Chief Minister, Ram Jethmalani, had made derogatory remarks against Jaitley in the proceedings of another defamation suit between the two and five other AAP leaders allegedly at the instance of Kejriwal.

Kejriwal has denied that he had instructed Jethmalani to use the derogatory words, a claim which Jaitley has termed as false and for which he has also sought perjury action against the Delhi chief minister.

In another reply, filed in response to Jaitley’s application seeking perjury action against him, Kejriwal has denied the allegation that he filed a false affidavit claiming he had not instructed his lawyer to use the derogatory words.

The court has listed the perjury application for hearing on April 26.

In his response filed through advocate Anupam Shrivastav,Kejriwal has denied that he has committed any perjury or made any false statement supported by an affidavit under oath.

He has also said there were no instructions from him to Jethmalani to use objectionable remarks against Jaitley.

The senior lawyer, however, had categorically stated before the joint registrar that he had received specific instruction from Kejriwal to use derogatory words against Jaitley.

Jethmalani, who in September announced his retirement from over a seven-decade long career as an advocate, had used certain words while cross-examining the Union Minister in a separate Rs 10 crore defamation case filed by the BJP leader against the AAP convenor and five others of the party in 2015.

The AAP leaders, including Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai, had in December 2015 levelled charges of corruption against Jaitley in connection with alleged financial irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).

Jaitley has denied all the allegations and also claimed that these had harmed his reputation.