Jaitley defamation case: HC chides Kejriwal's lawyers over conduct
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday said that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was "not being reasonable" in the civil defamation case against him by Union minister Arun Jaitley, and cautioned his lawyers over their conduct.
"You (defendant 1 - Kejriwal) are not being reasonable. Your conduct is not reasonable. It cannot be like this. We cannot have proceedings go on in this manner. Otherwise tomorrow we will have fist fight in court. Whole system is on the brink of collapse," Justice Manmohan said.
"I am cautioning you. Give good advice," the judge said to the lawyer representing Kejriwal.
The oral observations by the court came on an application moved by Jaitley to expedite the recording of evidence in an orderly and fair manner in a Rs 10-crore defamation suit filed by him against Kejriwal and five other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders for allegations of corruption made by them against the BJP leader.
When the application came up for hearing, senior advocate Rajiv Nayar, appearing for Jaitley, said the Union minister has been compelled to move the plea "as every hearing before the Joint Registrar cannot prompt a fresh defamation case".
Advocate Ramesh Singh, appearing for Kejriwal, sought time to file his reply to the application and, thereafter, the court listed the matter for further hearing on July 24.
The application, filed through advocate Manik Dogra, was moved subsequent to the use of an objectionable word against Jaitley by the Delhi Chief Minister's lawyer Ram Jethmalani during the Union minister's cross examination in the suit.
The use of the objectionable word had led to Jaitley filing another Rs 10-crore defamation suit against Kejriwal. The application for expedited hearing claims that "numerous irrelevant and scandalous questions have been asked during the cross examination" of the Union minister and that "abusive and defamatory statements have been made" on the instructions of Kejriwal.