Ram Jethmalani uses ‘defamatory’ expression against Arun Jaitley

  • Ram Jethmalani, representing Kejriwal in the defamation case brought against the Delhi CM by Arun Jaitley, started the cross-examination which ended abruptly after Jethmalani addressed the finance minister as a "crook", resulting in heated arguments between the two.

    Infuriated by Jethmalani's use of defamatory expressions, Jaitley demanded to know if it was on instructions from his client Kejriwal. "If this is so, I would aggravate the charges against the defendant," Jaitley warned, saying there is a limit to personal malice.

    In response, Jethmalani maintained he "used the word on instructions from his client" and added that "he received the instructions in his meetings with the client for the purpose of this matter in absence of the instructing counsel".

    Anupam Srivastav, advocate on record for Kejriwal since the beginning of the suit and the instructing counsel, clarified before the Jt. registrar that he had no instruction on the use of this word.

    Jaitley has filed the civil defamation suit seeking Rs 10 crore damages from Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders — Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai — for accusing him of financial irregularities in DDCA of which he was the president from 2000 to 2013.

    Kejriwal's lawyer asked a question that Jaitley had blocked publication of an article on irregularities in DDCA in a weekly magazine. Jethmalani said the article referred to alleged corruption in DDCA during the period when Jaitley was its president.

    The Jt. registrar disallowed the question pointing out that she had already termed the article irrelevant on the ground that it has no relevance to the current proceedings.

    However, Jehtmalani persisted and maintained that the article had been killed from the publication at Jaitley's behest. He then alleged that the finance minister is "guilty of crimes and crookery". The lawyers strongly opposed the choice of words by Jethmalani, saying he must stop insulting the minister.

    The Jt. registrar objected to Jethmalani’s continued defamatory attack and warned that the senior lawyer and other lawyers should allow the court to proceed.
    Kejriwal's counsel then sought a deferment of the the hearing as heated interactions continued between both sides.

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