HC asks Kejriwal not to put 'scandalous' questions to Jaitley
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed Aam Aadmi Party national convenor Arvind Kejriwal not to put "scandalous" questions to Union Minister Arun Jaitley during his cross-examination in a defamation suit filed against the Delhi Chief Minister and five other AAP leaders.
The high court also imposed a cost of Rs 10,000 on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal after he failed to file a reply in a second Rs 10 crore defamation suit by Jaitley, over the AAP leader's former lawyer Ram Jethmalani calling Jaitley a "crook" during the cross-examination.
The fine was imposed by Joint Registrar Pankaj Gupta after Kejriwal failed to file response on the plea, and granted further two more weeks to respond.
Justice Manmohan further said the Chief Minister should conduct cross-examination of the senior BJP leader in a dignified manner and in accordance with law.
It said dignity has to be maintained as no person can be subjected to scandalous and abusive language in the garb of cross-examination.
Jaitley, in the second civil defamation suit against Kejriwal, claimed the objectionable words caused him "permanent harm and disrepute".
This is a separate case from the ongoing Rs 10 crore Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) defamation suit against Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders that Jaitley filed in 2015.
On May 17, Jaitley and senior advocate Jethmalani clashed in the court, with the Union Minister taking strong on the objectionable word that Jethmalani used in his cross-examination.
Jethmalani had said that word was used by him on instructions from his Kejriwal; Jaitley then threatened to seek higher damages.
Kejriwal, however, recently denied instructing Jethmalani to use such objectionable words.
The second defamation suit stated that "Kejriwal has brazenly and with a malafide intent to cause further prejudice, damage and loss to the name, reputation and credibility of Jaitley has deliberately used the terminology..."
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.
Jaitley had sought Rs 10 crore in damages from Kejriwal and other AAP leaders in the DDCA case as well.
He had claimed that the AAP leaders attacked him over alleged irregularities and financial bungling in Delhi's cricket association, of which he was the President for about 13 years.