Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal has clarified that he had never instructed the senior counsel Ram Jethmalani to use objectionable words against Union finance minister Arun Jaitley during the cross-examination in the defamation case.
In an affidavit filed before Justice Manmohan of Delhi High Court, Kejriwal said that: “With due respect, it is submitted that neither Kejriwal nor the counsel briefing the senior counsel Jethmalani gave instructions to the senior counsel to use the objectionable words on 17 May, 2017.”
Kejriwal even wrote a letter to Jethmalani to refute his claim that objectionable words were used in the proceedings before the Joint Registrar on 17 May as per his instructions, it said.
Jethmalani had used the word “crook” against the finance minister during his cross-examination before a Joint Registrar saying that he used the word on instruction from Kejriwal.
The cross-examination was being done in Rs 10 crore Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) defamation suit against Kejriwal and five other Aam Aadmi Party leaders that Jaitley filed in 2015.
Kejriwal’s affidavit on Monday was filed on Jaitley’s application to expedite the recording of evidence in an orderly and fair manner in the defamation case.
The application said that “numerous irrelevant and scandalous questions have been asked during the cross examination of the Union minister and abusive and defamatory statements have been made” on the instructions of Kejriwal.
In December 2015, Jaitley had 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.
A fresh Rs 10 crore defamation suit was also filed by Jaitley against Kejriwal over his lawyer Jethmalani using the word “crook” during cross-examination of the previous defamation suit.
Jaitley, in the second civil defamation suit against Kejriwal, claimed the objectionable words caused him “permanent harm and disrepute”.
(With PTI inputs)