Court refuses to stall proceedings in Jaitley’s defamation case

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New Delhi, Aug 5 (IANS) A court here on Saturday rejected the plea of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal seeking to stall the proceedings of defamation case filed against him by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, as he has not engage any senior counsel after noted counsel Ram Jethmalani refused to represent him.

“Through various communication in the last few days, senior advocate Ram Jethmalani has informed that the applicant (Kejriwal) that he will will be unable to appear for applicant in any proceedings including the present one,” Kejriwal’s counsel Shadan Farasat told Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass.

On May 17, Jaitley and senior advocate Jethmalani clashed in the Delhi High court with the Union Minister taking strong on objectionable word that Jethmalani used in his cross-examination.

As Jethmalani had said that word was used by him on instructions from Kejriwal, Jaitley then threatened to seek higher damages.

Kejriwal, however, denied instructing Jethmalani of using such objectionable words.

Kejriwal’s counsel on Saturday requested the court to adjourn the hearing as Kejriwal needs sufficient time to engage or brief a senior counsel.

The plea was opposed by Jaitley’s counsel Siddharth Luthra who said that plea is without merit as well as not maintainable and the accused are trying to delay the trial by moving such frivolous applications.

The court refused to stall the proceedings and asked Jaitley to record his statement as complainant witness in the case. However, it granted exemption to Kejriwal from personal appearance.

Jaitley, while recording his statement, said that the defamatory statement made by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders has adversely affected his reputation and the allegation regarding financial bungling in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) was false.

He told court that statement made by accused that he and his family had a pecuniary interest in the company who had given charge for the construction and renovation of Ferozshah Kotla stadium was per se false and defamatory.

He told court that in the capacity of DDCA President, he used to chair the board meetings where only the important decisions were put up for approval before the board.

During the recording of statement, Jaitley wanted to exhibit certain documents which was vehemently opposed by the accused including Ashutosh and Sanjay Singh, who said their counsel is not well and without him, they can not lead their defence.

Ashtosh said that he is feeling handicapped without the counsel whereas another defendant claimed that the case is getting VIP treatment.

The court, deferred the hearing for further recording of statement of Jaitley for September 25.

Beside Kejriwal, Ashtosh and Singh, three other AAP leaders Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas and and Deepak Bajpai are facing trial in the defamation case filed by Jaitley.

–IANS

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