Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has replied to Union Finance Arun Jaitley’s defamation suit, describing his ‘claim of high public character is totally frivolous.’
Jailtey has filed civil and criminal defamation cases against Kejriwal seeking damages worth Rs 10 crore after the latter and his fellow Aam Aadmi Party leaders demanded his resignation in DDCA corruption case.
Besides Kejriwal, other AAP leaders are Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha, Deepak Vajpayee.
In his reply, Kejriwal said, “The plaintiff’s claim that he enjoys and in fact possesses high public character is a totally frivolous and unsustainable claim. No injury of any kind has been caused to the plaintiff’s reputation which he claims. This is not a suit for injury to his private character, but to his public character, if at all.
“This defendant denies that he has any reputation of this kind to protect. In a democracy this reputation can only be what can be proved to be the known reaction, response and manifestation of the people’s attitude to the plaintiff. The last time he contested the election to the Lok Sabha was from Amritsar as a BJP candidate in 2014. Despite the success of the BJP this plaintiff lost by a margin of more than 1,00,000 (a lakh) votes. Indian democracy has never accepted his claim of public character.”
In court, Jaitley had said that the Delhi CM and his colleagues had defamed him and his family through wrong statements.
He said, “All 6 accused in the complaint have made/published statements which are false and defamatory. Their acts attracted adverse public comments and made my reputation discriminatory in public at large. Raghav Chadha by re-tweeting tweets of Arvind Kejriwal and others has defamed my image in public. They defamed me on twitter, Facebook and social media.”
Among Jaitley’s witnesses are also some of media personalities including the India TV owner, Rajat Sharma, journalist Swapan Dasgupta and Hindustan Times manager.
Sharma, whose friendship with Jaitley spans over four decades too recorded his statement in favour of the finance minister.
He reportedly told the court as reported by DNA, “Deeply disturbed about the nature of the false allegations made against him (Jaitley) and being in the media..aware that such allegations can cause harm and destroy the reputation of any respectable person.”