Jaitley, Jethmalani in verbal duel

Jaitley, Jethmalani in verbal duel

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley faced cross-examination by former  BJP leader Ram Jethmalani in a Rs 10-crore defamation case in the Delhi High Court on Monday.

Jaitley had filed the case against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Jethmalani is Kejriwal’s counsel.

Once close legal associates, Jaitley and Jethmalani found themselves engaged in a sharp question and answer session in an open court.

Jethmalani put 52 questions to Jaitley on his move to take Kejriwal to court for civil and criminal defamation after he accused Jaitley of mismanaging the Delhi and District Cricket Association as its president for 13 years till 2013.

Jethmalani asked why he filed the Rs 10-crore suit, wondering whether Kejriwal’s comments merited a case against him aside from “value that you put on yourself.”
Jethmalani said Jaitley had not suffered any monetary losses because of the statement and its why he deemed it “unquantifiable”.

Jaitley, whose statement was recorded by the high court registrar, said, “The loss of my reputation has been partly quantified in terms of money. Loss of a reputation causes mental distress to the person defamed, which it did in my case.”

He also went on to say that when his “stature, background and reputation” were considered, the loss was so enormous that it could not be quantified.

Jethmalani retorted by telling Jaitley that “it was your personal feeling about your greatness, that it can’t be estimated in terms of fiscal measure.” Jaitley replied that it were the opinions of his family, friends and well-wishers who had expressed the same to him.

Jaitley held that the defamatory statements made by Kejriwal were to deflect from the raid conducted in the office of his aide in December.
 

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