BJP leader Arun Jaitley in December 2015 had filed a defamation case against Arvind Kejriwal and 5 others for what he claimed were false allegations regarding his alleged role in certain irregularities in the DDCA (Delhi & District Cricket Association). Jaitley sought compensation of 10 crore rupees due to damages caused by alleged defamatory statements by Kejriwal.
Recently we had reported how at a one of the hearings of this case on 17th May, Jethmalani had openly called Jaitley a crook. This resulted in the High Court expressing its shock and called the comments as scandalous. A visibly agitated Jaitley asked Jethmalani whether he was authorised to use that term by Kejriwal. Jethmalani then stated that his client(Kejriwal) had indeed done so.
Jaitley then claimed that if Kejriwal had indeed authorised the comments, then he(Jaitley) would seek aggravated damages. Jaitley then came true on his promise and slapped another Rs 10 crore in damages for the “crook” comment made against him. This case would then have run separately from the current one.
Now interestingly there’s a twist in the tale. On Monday Kejriwal told the Delhi High Court that he had never authorised his lawyer Ram Jethmalani to make any such objectionable remark against Arun Jaitley.
In the affidavit submitted before justice Manmohan, the AAP supremo has claimed that he had also written a letter to Jethmalani after the hearing to refute his(Jethmalani’s) claims that permission was provided for the words used. According to Kejriwal, it was “inconceivable that he would even think of instructing the senior counsel to use such objectionable words”. The affidavit also claims that Kejriwal has instructed his counsel on record Mr Anupam Srivastava to remind Jethmalani that no such approval was given in the meeting between the client and the lawyer.
Because of the incident on 17th May, the proceedings of the initial Rs 10 crore lawsuit was adjourned to 28th July. Jaitley in the past has accused Kejriwal and the defendants of wilfully delaying the conclusion of recording of evidence by asking insulting and annoying questions.
It remains to be seen as to what the response of Jethmalani is to this new development and whether this too is a fixed match to cause further confusion in the case.