Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was issued a notice by the Delhi High Court on Tuesday in a fresh defamation suit of Rs 10-crore filed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley the previous day. Joint Registrar Pankaj Gupta’s notice asked Kejriwal to respond with why defamation proceedings against him should not be initiated.
The suit claims Kejriwal’s lawyer Ram Jethmalani had called Jaitley a crook on the Delhi chief minister’s instructions. Jaitley had filed a fresh lawsuit after the exchange took place in an open court during the proceedings of a 2015 defamation suit against Kejriwal and five of his party members.
During Jaitley’s cross-examination on May 17 in the Delhi High Court, Jethmalani had said he was “guilty of crimes and crookery”, reported Mint. After being questioned by the court, Jethmalani said he was instructed by his client to use these words.
In his plea, Jaitley said that the remark/statement was “not only false, baseless, malicious and abusive, but also defamatory in nature”. Justice Manmohan asked Kejriwal to “first step into the box and make good his allegations” before continuing with Jaitley’s cross-examination, reported The Times of India.
“If such allegations have been made on instructions of Defendant 1 [Kejriwal], then no point in continuing with cross examination of plaintiff [Jaitley] any more. Let Defendant 1 make good his allegations. Let him step into the box,” the judge had said.
The 2015 defamation is related to Kejriwal accusing Jaitley of wrongdoing when he was the president of the Delhi and District Cricket Association. Jaitley had sought Rs 10 crore in that suit as well.