Union Minister Arun Jaitley
has opposed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's plea in the Delhi High Court
(HC) seeking summoning of the minutes of meetings of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) held during 1999-2014.
had moved the fresh plea in a pending defamation
suit filed by the Union Minister against him and five other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders seeking Rs 10 crore as damages from them for allegedly levelling "defamatory" allegations with regard to irregularities in DDCA
during Jaitley's tenure as its President.
64-year-old Jaitley, in his reply filed before Joint Registrar Pankaj Gupta of the HC, said that Kejriwal's application deserved to be dismissed as he has been trying to delay the proceedings in the lawsuit by filing "frivolous" pleas, including the current one.
He has said the fresh plea was "not only a dilatory tactic but clearly a roving and fishing expedition".
The Delhi Chief Minister has sought summoning of the minutes of the meetings held by the General Body and the Executive Committee or Board of Directors of the DDCA
between 1999 and 2014. Jaitley
was the DDCA
President from 2000 to 2013.
Kejriwal, in his application filed through advocate Anupam Srivastava, has said he wished to cross-examine Jaitley
in the suit, whose hearing had witnessed a high drama when his former counsel and senior advocate Ram Jethmalani
had used some "objectionable and scandalous" words against the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader.
Jethmalani, who has now stopped representing Kejriwal
in the case, recently wrote letters alleging that those words were spoken at the instruction of the chief minister and his former client had hurled worse abuses against Jaitley
in their meetings.
Jaitley, who holds Finance and Defence portfolios, filed his reply through advocate Manik Dogra and said the Civil Procedure Code provided that if Kejriwal
wanted to summon a witness or the records, he must mention them in his list of witnesses.
The list of witnesses was required to be filed within 15 days after the court framed issues to be decided in the suit.
said, "it is admitted position that the defendant (Kejriwal) in his list of witnesses has not mentioned any such witness whom he wants to be summoned to produce the record of DDCA.
He said it was "evident that Kejriwal
made per se defamatory statements against the plaintiff (and his family members). He (Kejriwal) earlier claimed that his statements were on the basis of documents available with him.
"It is abundantly clear that there was no basis for the defendant to have made said defamatory statements and he is now searching for sundry documents to buttress his defence".
Jethmalani's statement that scandalous words were used at the instance of Kejriwal, led to the filing of a separate Rs 10 crore civil defamation
suit against the Chief Minister.
After this, Kejriwal
had told the court that he had not instructed Jethmalani
to use "scandalous" words against the union minister.
Following this, Jaitley
moved an application to expedite the recording of evidence in an orderly and fair manner of his first defamation
suit against Kejriwal
During the hearing, Justice Manmohan had warned Kejriwal
against asking any "offensive and scandalous" questions to Jaitley.
The court had also asked his new counsel to give an undertaking that no objectionable and offensive questions would be put to Jaitley
during the cross-examination slated on August 28.
Besides Kejriwal, the five other accused in the suit are AAP
leaders Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai. The AAP
leaders had accused the BJP
leader of corruption as the DDCA
had denied all the allegations by the AAP
leaders in December 2015 and had filed a civil defamation
suit seeking Rs 10 crore damages from Kejriwal
and the others, claiming they had made "false and defamatory" statements in a case involving DDCA, thereby harming his reputation.