Jaitley files defamation suit against Kejriwal, seeks $1.5m as damages

(From PTI)

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday filed a civil defamation suit in the Delhi High Court against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders for issuing allegedly false and defamatory statements against him and his family members.

Arun Jaitley

Arun Jaitley

Jaitley has sought Rs 100 million ($1.5 million) as damages from Kejriwal and other AAP leaders — Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpayee — for their alleged defamatory remarks.

Advocate Manik Dogra said the civil suit on behalf of Jaitley would come up in the normal course of listing.

Jaitley’s action comes in the backdrop of attacks on him by Kejriwal and other AAP leaders over alleged irregularities and financial bunglings in Delhi’s cricket body, Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), of which he was the president for about 13 years till 2013.

The union minister had said on Sunday that he would also file a criminal defamation case against Kejriwal and other five AAP leaders at Patiala House court.

He chose not to give any legal notice to Kejriwal and other AAP leaders asking them to apologise or face defamation cases. Instead, the case was straightaway filed in the court.

‘Sue me for defamation too’

BJP lawmaker and former cricketer Kirti Azad Monday openly dared his party senior Jaitley in tweets, a day after he stopped short of naming him while alleging corruption in the Delhi cricket body that the Finance Minister headed for 13 years.

Kirti Azad used an allegory and left it open to interpretation: “When Krishna was little, he fought against Kalianag – you can interpret this in the way you want – who is Krishna and who is Kalianag.”
Jaitley was chief of DDCA till 2013.

Jaitley must resign: Congress

In parliament, the Rajya Sabha’s (upper house) proceedings were disrupted once again on Monday as Congress members demanded Jaitley’s resignation over alleged corruption in the DDCA.

The disruptions came despite an understanding reached on Friday at an all-party meeting on the passage of several pending bills.

Soon after Rajya Sabha members agreed on the urgency of the juvenile justice bill, leader of opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad raised the DDCA issue and mentioned Jaitley’s alleged involvement.

Jaitley said he was ready to respond to any charges, and asked the opposition for a discussion.

He said he had already taken legal recourse on the charges made against him outside parliament.

As the opposition kept shouting slogans ignoring Jaitley’s words, Speaker Kurien said their act is unjustifiable, unacceptable and unfortunate before adjourning the house till noon.

When the house met again, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said a supplementary list of business will be brought to discuss the juvenile justice bill.

As the deputy chairman prepared to take up the zero hour mentions, Congress members began raising slogans again. They displayed placards and trooped near the chairman’s podium.

“No one will resign,” Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said. No one will resign over “false charges” levelled against them, he asserted.

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