HC seeks Kejriwal, 5 AAP leaders' response in Jaitley case

HC seeks Kejriwal, 5 AAP leaders' response in Jaitley case

The Delhi High Court today sought response of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders on a civil defamation suit filed against them by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Joint Registrar (JR) Kovai Venugopal issued notice to Kejriwal and other AAP leaders -- Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai -- on the suit by Jaitley seeking Rs 10 crore in damages for issuing allegedly false and defamatory statements against him and his family members.

"Issue notice to the defendants (AAP leaders). Written statements by the defandants be filed within three weeks. Thereafter, in two weeks' time, the plaintiff (Jaitley) will file replication," the JR said.

The court also asked AAP convenor Kejriwal and other leaders of his party to file original documents related to the allegations levelled in the suit against them in one week.

The JR fixed the matter for February 5, 2016 for admission/denial of documents. While Kejriwal and Vishwas were not present in the high court, four of the AAP leaders -- Ashutosh, Sanjay, Raghav and Deepak, attended the proceedings.

Jaitley's action comes in the backdrop of attacks on him by Kejriwal and other AAP leaders over alleged irregularities and financial bunglings in Delhi's cricket body, Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), of which he was the president for about 13 years till 2013.

Jaitley has also filed a criminal defamation complaint before a trial court against Kejriwal and the five other AAP leaders for making false allegations about financial irregularities in DDCA.

In a packed courtroom at the Patiala House courts complex yesterday, Jaitley, who was accompanied by a phalanx of union ministers, including M Venkaiah Naidu, Smriti Irani, Dharmendra Pradhan and J P Nadda, had alleged that AAP leaders have made completely baseless and defamatory allegations.

The court of the Chief Metroplitan Magistrate then took cognisance of the complaint and posted the case for January 5 when Jaitley will record his testimony.

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