Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the Patiala House Court in New Delhi on Tuesday that Delhi Chief Minister and five others made the statements to deflect attention from the ongoing CBI investigation "against a particular person who is working with Kejriwal."
The Finance Minister, who appeared amid tight security before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Khanagwal to record his statement supporting the criminal defamation complaint filed by him against Kejriwal and others, said they had given false and defamatory statements against him and his family members.
He said that Kejriwal's statement that he had received money when the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium was constructed during his tenure as the DDCA Chief, was false, as the Board of Directors had constituted a committee to supervise the work and he was not a member of this supervisory committee.
Besides Jaitley, the court also recorded the statement of senior journalist Rajat Sharma, who appeared as a complainant witness in the case.
During recording of his statement which lasted for about 70 minutes, Jaitley referred to Twitter and Facebook posts of the six persons and said their statements had damaged his reputation even after he had filed the defamation complaint.
He alleged that these AAP leaders had made false and defamatory statements against him and his family members which lowered his dignity in the eyes of the public at large.
"Their acts attracted adverse public comments and made my reputation discriminatory in the public at large," Jaitley said, as the recording of his statement concluded today.
Jaitley said statements have been made to deflect attention from CBI investigation "against a particular person" working with the Delhi Chief Minister.
The Finance Minister arrived in the court premises at 1:56 pm and entered the court room at 2pm amidst tight security. No media person was allowed inside the court room during the proceedings.
The court has now posted the matter for February 3 to record statements of other complainant witnesses in the case.
On 21 December, Arun Jaitley had filed a criminal defamation suit against the Delhi CM and five other Aam Aadmi Party leaders — Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai. Jaitley had also, separately, filed a civil defamation case seeking Rs 10 crore as damages at the Delhi High Court.
A week after a CBI raid on the Chief Minister's secretariat against his principal secretary that triggered allegations by AAP against Jaitley in the affairs of the Delhi's cricket body DDCA, the minister took the legal recourse saying the AAP leaders' "malicious and defamatory" campaign was causing irreversible damage to him.
In the criminal defamation complaint, Jaitley said Kejriwal and other AAP leaders with common intention have from 15 December "undertaken a false, malicious and defamatory campaign against Jaitley and his family members for political mileage causing irreversible damage to him."
It was done to deflect issues from an unrelated search during investigation by CBI of a bureaucrat in the secretariat of the Delhi Government based on a complaint by a third party, he said.
The complaint referred to some of the allegations made by AAP leaders in press conferences, including one that claimed that the CBI raided the office of Delhi government official looking for Jaitley's "tax scam files" and that there was corruption worth several hundred crores under Jaitley's tenure and that he had shielded DDCA for over 15 years.
Jaitley said such statements have been made orally and through Twitter handle of the AAP leaders which have been carried by electronic and print media from 15 December to 20 December.
With inputs from PTI