New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to respond to a plea by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Ashutosh seeking direction to strike off the fresh allegations levelled against him by the minister in a civil defamation suit.

Jaitley has sought Rs 10 crore in damages following the AAP leaders’ statements on alleged financial irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).

In the suit, Jaitley has named Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and AAP leaders Kumar Vishwas, Raghav Chadha, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai.

(Also Read: Delhi court summons Arvind Kejriwal, 5 others in a criminal defamation case filed by Arun Jaitley)

Justice Vipin Sanghi sought Jaitley’s response by April 19 on the application filed by Ashutosh in the main defamation suit.

Jaitley has “exploited the opportunity of filing replication (a plaintiff’s reply to the defendant’s plea) for the purpose of introducing fresh allegations of defamation to make out a fresh case”, said the application.

It added that the additional grounds were not only inconsistent with the pleadings of the original plaint but were also “unnecessary, frivolous, scandalous, vexatious and would prejudice, embarrass and delay fair trial”.

Jaitley’s lawyers opposed Ashutosh’s plea saying whatever said in his reply was very much part of the main plaint filed before the Joint Registrar.