Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday told the Delhi High Court that he filed a civil defamation case against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP leaders because they made allegations of personal integrity against him and his family members.
Arun Jaitley was being cross-examined by Kejriwal’s counsel and senior advocate Anoop George Chaudhary in connection with the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) defamation case filed by the Minister.
Asked why he did not file case against Congress leaders Gulam Nabi Azad, Malikarjun Kharge, and Ajay Maken who had levelled similar allegations against him as Kejriwal, Jaitley replied: “It is for me as a plaintiff whose reputation has been damaged to assess as to which statement made by which person has caused a significant damage to my reputation.
“A defendant or an accused guilty of malicious falsehood and defamation cannot claim any dilution in his guilt/claim against him on the ground that other offenders have been spared.”
To this Chaudhari asked Jaitley that he sued Kejriwal because of political malice in order to settle political scores and because BJP had been decimated in 2015 Delhi Assembly Elections where it could win only three seats.
Jaitley however maintained that it was incorrect that he has sued Kejriwal on account of any political reason or political malice. “I have sued the defendants (Kejriwal and other AAP leaders) because they made allegations of personal integrity against me and my family members. I could not overlook these allegations.”
He also said that Kejriwal along with other defendants ran a campaign of various false allegations for a number of days in multimedia.
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.