Jaitley files defamation suit, complaint against Kejriwal

New Delhi, Dec 21 (IANS) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday filed a defamation suit against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and sought Rs.10 crore in damages for alleging corruption in the DDCA he once headed.

Jaitley also filed a criminal defamation complaint against Kejriwal and other AAP leaders for making what he said were false allegations about financial irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association.

The case is likely to be heard on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party filed a caveat in the high court. Senior advocate H.S. Phoolka urged the court not to pass any order without hearing them.

Jaitley, who headed the DDCA for 13 years till 2013, has been accused of corruption by the AAP as well as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Kirti Azad.

Even as Jaitley denied the charges, Azad demanded to know — while speaking to IANS on Monday — why the finance minister had not sued him as it was he (Azad) who had been making the corruption allegations for years.

Also on Monday, Kejriwal again demanded that Jaitley must resign from the government or be removed as finance minister to enable an independent probe into DDCA matters.

Jaitley’s defamation complaint was filed against Kejriwal and AAP leaders Kumar Vishwas, Raghav Chadha, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Khanagwal took cognizance of the complaint and posted the matter for January 5. The complaint was filed in Jaitley’s personal capacity.

“On perusing the material on record, I take cognizance of the offences,” the magistrate said.

Jaitley was accompanied by BJP leaders and union ministers M. Venkaiah Naidu, Smriti Irani, Piyush Goyal, J.P. Nadda, Dharmendra Pradhan and Rajyavardhan Rathore when he reached the Patiala House Court.

Jaitley told the magistrate that the allegations levelled by AAP leaders would cause “irreversible damage to his reputation”.

Advocate Sidharth Luthra said the minister did not take “a single penny” from the DDCA and that Kejriwal and AAP leaders had made “defamatory and baseless charges”.

The complaint was filed for under sections 499 (defamation), 500 (punishment for defamation), 501 (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory), 502 (sale of printed or engraved substance containing defamatory matter), 34 (common intention) and 35 (when such an act is criminal by reason as it is done with a criminal knowledge or intention).

On his part, Kerjiwal said he and his party won’t be intimidated by Jaitley’s defamation suit or complaint and told him to face the Commission of Enquiry the Delhi government has set up to probe the DDCA affairs.

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