Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley filed a second civil defamation suit of Rs 10 crore in the Delhi High Court against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over his lawyer Ram Jethmalani using the word “crook”, claiming the objectionable words caused him “permanent harm and disrepute”….reports Asian Lite News
This is a separate case from the ongoing Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) defamation suit against Kejriwal and five other Aam Aadmi Party leaders that Jaitley filed in 2015.
On May 17, Jaitley and senior advocate Jethmalani clashed in the court with the Union Minister taking a strong objection to the word “crook” Jethmalani used during Jaitley’s cross-examination in the earlier defamation case.
“During cross-examination conducted on behalf of the defendant (Kejriwal) herein, the plaintiff (Jaitley) has been subjected to numerous questions, terminologies/ statements that are ex facie abusive, malicious, offensive, irrelevant and slanderous,” Jaitley said in his new plea.
“The senior advocate representing Kejriwal referred to Jaitley as ‘crook’. This statement is not only false, baseless, malicious and abusive, but is per se defamatory,” added the plea.
During the cross-examination, Jethmalani had said: “I intend to show that this man (Jaitley) is a crook.” It prompted strong objection from Jaitley, who furiously asked Jethmalani whether the word “crook” used by him was in his personal capacity or as per the instruction of Kejriwal.
To this, Jethmalani had said that it was used by him on instructions from his client, and Jaitley then threatened to seek higher damages.
“I will aggravate the charges against the defendants (Kejriwal)… There is a limit to personal malice,” Jaitley had said.
Jaitley’s counsel had also objected to Jethmalani referring to the Minister as being “guilty of crime and crookery”.
The advocate on record for Kejriwal had, however, submitted that Jethmalani had no instructions from the client to use the word against Jaitley.
But the fresh defamation suit said: “Jethmalani categorically stated that he used the word ‘crook’ on the instructions from his client, i.e. Kejriwal herein. He further categorically stated that he has received this instruction in his meeting with Kejriwal, and further stated that this meeting was held in absence of the advocate-on-record representing Kejriwal in the said prior suit (first defamation suit).”
It added that “clearly, Kejriwal has brazenly and with a malafide intent to cause further prejudice, damage and loss to the name, reputation and credibility of Jaitley has deliberately used the terminology of ‘crook’ against Jaitley”.
“It is also evident that Kejriwal possessing malicious intent has also attempted to gain cheap political mileage, with ulterior motive and malafide design, by causing further damage to the impeccable reputation of Jaitley.”
In December 2015, Jaitley filed a civil defamation suit against Kejriwal and AAP leaders Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpayee, claiming that they made “false and defamatory” statements in the case involving the DDCA, thereby harming his reputation.
Jaitley had sought Rs 10 crore in damages from Kejriwal and other AAP leaders in the DDCA case as well.
He had claimed that the AAP leaders attacked him over alleged irregularities and financial bungling in Delhi’s cricket association, of which he was the President for about 13 years.