Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal may find himself in fresh trouble as Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has filed a fresh Rs 10 crore defamation suit against the Aam Aadmi Party leader over the use of an objectionable word by his counsel Ram Jethmalani on 17 May.
During the court proceedings, Jaitley took strong objections to the word 'crook' used by Jethmalani, while the senior lawyer was cross-examining the union minister in a separate defamation case pertaining to Kejriwal's graft allegation's on Jaitley in an alleged DDCA scam.
"I intend to show that this man (Jaitley) is a crook," said Jethmalani, prompting strong objection from Jaitley and giving rise to an ugly verbal spat between the once-close legal associates.
Jaitley, who was being cross-examined, furiously asked Jethmalani whether the word "crook" used by him was in his personal capacity or as per the instruction of Kejriwal.
Jaitley had threatened to seek higher damages. "I will aggravate the charges against the defendants (Kejriwal)... There is a limit to personal malice," he said after Jethmalani, appearing for Kejriwal, said he wanted to prove that the union minister was a "crook".
Asked to clarify the source of the word, Jethmalani said it has been used by him on instruction from his client (Kejriwal).
Senior counsels Rajiv Nayyar and Sandeep Sethi, representing Jaitley, objected to Jethmalani referring to the Minister as being "guilty of crime and crookery".
During the proceedings, Jethmalani and some lawyers defending the AAP leaders contended that Jaitley was not entitled to the Rs 10 crore damages he has sought from Kejriwal and others.
In December 2015, Jaitley filed a civil defamation case 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 DDCA, thereby harming his reputation.
Jaitley has sought Rs 10 crore in damages from Kejriwal and other AAP leaders.
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.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: May 23, 2017 11:03 AM