Ram Jethmalani has said that he has quit the case because Arvind Kejriwal “lied” when he said he had not instructed him to use the word “crook” while cross examining Arun Jaitley.
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court today cautioned Arvind Kejriwal against posing “scandalous questions” to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during his cross- examination in a defamation suit against the Delhi Chief Minister. Mr Kejriwal’s senior counsel Ram Jethmalani, whose remarks in a previous hearing provoked the court’s warning, was not present. He has quit as Arvind Kejriwal’s lawyer.
Ram Jethmalani has said that he has quit the case because Mr Kejriwal “lied” when he said he had not instructed him to use the word “crook” while cross examining Mr Jaitley. A 2 crore fee that Mr Kejriwal owes him can be waived, Mr Jethmalani said today, adding, “it is no problem as I work for free for thousands of people.”
When Mr Jethmalani , 92, had called him a “crook” in May this year, the Finance Minister had asked if the slur had been sanctioned by Mr Kejriwal. When Mr Jethmalani said it had, Mr Jaitley said he would seek “aggravated damages,” and filed a fresh defamation case against Mr Kejriwal.
This week, the Delhi Chief Minister has in an affidavit told the court: “With due respect it is submitted that neither Kejriwal nor the counsel briefing the senior counsel Jethmalani gave instructions to the senior counsel to use the objectionable words on May 17, 2017.”
Mr Kejriwal has told the court that he had even written to Mr Jethmalani to refute his claim that he had instructions “to use objectionable words.”
It was in response to an application by Mr Jaitley that said, “numerous irrelevant and scandalous questions have been asked during the cross examination of the Union minister and abusive and defamatory statements have been made” on the instructions of Mr Kejriwal.
“No person can be subjected to scandalous and abusive language in the garb of cross-examination; this has to be dealt with a heavy hand,” the High Court said today.
Arun Jaitley has sued Arvind Kejriwal and five other leaders of his Aam Aadmi Party for defamation saying they have made baseless allegations against him, accusing him of corruption during his 13-year-term as head of the DDCA, the powerful cricket body that governs Delhi and its surrounding areas. He has sought Rs. 10 crore in damages for the harm caused to his reputation.
Mr Jaitley has sought an additional 10 crore in his new suit.