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Jaitley defamation case: After U-turn, Kejriwal now demands stay

Yesterday, the AAP leaders made a complete somersault and denied making any statements against the FM

ANI  |  New Delhi 

Jaitley defamation case: After U-turn, Kejriwal now demands stay

A day after making a U-turn in the defamation case filed against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday filed a plea before the Delhi High Court, seeking a stay on one of the two cases.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders made a complete somersault and denied making any statements against Jaitley.

Senior advocates Rajiv Nayar, representing Jaitley in the matter on Tuesday told ANI that the AAP leaders were now running away from the process of court.

"Today in court they have denied making these statements. At the press conference, their counsels made the statement that we have not made any such statements and the court then wanted to ask whether we really want to pursue the case anymore. And to that, our stand was that we want vindication of our rights and we want damages," said Nayar.

"First they denied making the statements' and now they don't want a quick resolution. They are on the back foot, they have realized that they made a mistake," he added.

The High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to Jaitley and sought his response on Kejriwal's plea.

Kejriwal's lawyer Rahul Mehra in a tweet said: "HC issues notice to Jaitley on a petition filed by @ArvindKejriwal seeking stay of criminal defamation case till civil one is decided by HC."

Kejriwal had filed an application before the Delhi High Court seeking a stay in the criminal proceedings of defamation case filed by Jaitley during pendency of civil defamation suit.

The High Court denied the stay and issued a notice to Jaitley for proceedings later this month.

On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court had framed issues against Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders in a civil defamation suit filed by Jaitley, notwithstanding their claim that they had not made any defamatory statements against the latter in connection with the DDCA case.

The issues were framed by Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw against Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders after their lawyer denied the allegations and submitted that whatever was said against Jaitley was in the public domain and added that Kejriwal had not said anything on his own.

Besides Kejriwal, other five leaders cited in the defamation case include Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai. They also denied defaming Jaitley.

The court then framed issues against all the six AAP leaders and fixed September 27 as the next date of hearing of the matter before Joint Registrar to decide whether any defamatory statements were made by them.

In a civil suit, when one party affirms and other party denies a material proposition of fact or law, then only issues arise.

Some of the issues framed by the court include whether Jaitley is entitled for any damage for the alleged defamatory statements made by AAP leaders and what should be the amount.

During the hearing, the judge objected to the statements made by senior advocate H S Phoolka, appearing for one of the AAP leaders, that the court is giving special treatment to this suit.

The judge said the senior advocate should sit in the court room and observe whether any special treatment is given in any of the matters and how the bench is proceeding.

Jaitley has filed a suit seeking Rs 10 crore damages against the backdrop of attacks on him by Kejriwal and other AAP leaders over alleged irregularities and financial bungling in DDCA of which he was the president for about 13 years till 2013.

The union minister has also filed a criminal defamation complaint on the same issue.

Jaitley filed criminal defamation case against Kejriwal and five AAP leaders in the Patiala House Court, while the civil defamation case was filed in the Delhi High Court.

First Published: Wed, July 13 2016. 20:05 IST