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  • No relief for Kejriwal in Jaitley defamation case

    May 20, 2016

    The spat between the BJP and the AAP has gone sour for a few months. It had taken a whole new perspective when the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley accused Kejriwal of defamation and filed a case against him. It has been a few weeks and as of Thursday, Kejriwal has not found any relief from the trial court.

    Ram Jethmalani, who has been fighting Kejriwal’s cases in the trial courts, asked for one of the few cases against him to be stayed.  there are two cases—civil and criminal—filed against Kejriwal and five other AAP members on same allegations. Jethmalani sought the stay on any one of these cases. Jethmalani submitted, "Adjourn the matter, so that I can approach the high court. I don't want to face both the cases simultaneously." Though the court did not reject Kejriwal's plea, it observed "that both cases can proceed simultaneously".

    Jaitley filed the complaint on December 21, 2015 following AAP's allegations of corruption in the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) during his tenure as its president. between December 1999 and December 2013. On April 7, the court granted bail to the AAP functionaries. Kejriwal and the other accused—Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Kumar Vishwas, Rajeev Chadha and Deepak Bajpai.

    In the final statement, chief metropolitan magistrate Sumit Dass said, "I may note that this court cannot stay the proceedings on its own/merely on the account of pendency of the civil suit before the high court. In my opinion, the civil suit for damages on account of defamation and the criminal defamation case stand on different footings and can be tried simultaneously and there is no impediment qua proceedings further in the case in the hand." The case has been fixed now for July 16th and has asked the complainant to reply to Kejriwal’s plea.

    Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, who appeared for Jaitley, told the court that his client wanted the case to be tried on a daily basis. He also said the plea of an accused seeking documents of the case lacked any merit and was only a delaying tactic as all accused had been given the papers twice.
     

    OUR TAKE

    The battle between the Delhi CM and Finance Minister is not something new. The misunderstandings between the two should cease to exist because if not, it is not in the best interest of the National Capital. The people of the Capital have suffered a lot and just because of the CM’s fight with the ones at the Centre, a whole city should not suffer. Once the case gets settled, Kejriwal should concentrate more on the work at hand rather than digging up the past about some political leader’s educational qualifications and making snide remarks.


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