Defamation case a ‘private’ matter, Kejriwal told Delhi HC
New Delhi, Apr 5: In October last year, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told a court that he had made allegations of corruption against Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his private capacity.
“The present petition has been preferred by the petitioner (Kejriwal) mainly on the ground that the criminal proceedings are ought to be stayed as the civil suit has been filed on the basis of same facts and allegations. Further ground taken is that there are similarities in both the proceedings initiated by the respondent no.1 (Jaitley), such as the facts that the parties are same, events are same, date of filing is same, cause of action is same and both proceedings are private in character,” Delhi High Court recorded as Kejriwal’s submission on October, 2016.
However, two months later in a letter to the L-G, Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia had asserted that Kejriwal had made his remarks in an official capacity, thereby making the GNCT duty-bound to provide for an eminent lawyer to the Delhi CM, contradicting Kejriwal’s stand in court. Sisodia had proposed the name of Ram Jethmalani, who asked for Rs 1 cr as his retainer fee and Rs 22, 00,000 per appearance in the court.
As per the letter, AAP wanted the taxpayers’ money to be utilised to foot the bill of the eminent lawyer. However, the fresh documents pertaining to the case reveal the character of the suit as “private”, thereby, busting Sisodia’s claims.
The BJP, has slammed Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party for what union minister Prakash Javadekar said amounted to “dacoity” and “looting the people,” for wanting to use public money to pay Mr Kejriwal’s bills.
“It is you who made the statement – then why should people pay? It is you who should pay,” the minister said.
Arun Jaitley sued Kejriwal and several other AAP leaders in 2015, accusing them of making unsubstantiated allegations of corruption against him related to the period when he headed the Delhi’s cricket administration body, the DDCA.