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Published: Wed, March 08, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Arun Jaitley says Arvind Kejriwal's defamatory statements a deflecting tactic

Arun Jaitley says Arvind Kejriwal's defamatory statements a deflecting tactic

The Finance Minister has already tendered evidence in support of his civil defamation suit against Kejriwal and five AAP leaders - Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai.

The court has directed Mr Jaitley to appear again for cross-examination on Tuesday.

To this, minister replied: "I have no personal enmity with him".

To which, Jaitley said that many people made irresponsible statements on social media "but when a Chief Minister endorses them, it becomes a grave and serious offence".

Jethmalani asked Jaitely, it was Ms Madhu Kishwar who made a statement on Twitter that you (Jaitley), his wife and daughter are linked to fake companies; but you did not sue her, but chose to sue the Defendant No. 1 (Arvind Kejriwal).

Jethmalani, who was expelled from the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2013, targeted the Finance Minister by asking various questions relating to his political career.

Jethmalani, who was trying to prove that the case had no ground, asked Jaitley if the perception of loss of reputation had anything do with his "personal feelings of greatness". "Nonetheless, I always continued to maintain the due courtesies that he deserved as an eminent cricketer", said Jaitley, adding, "I do not recollect if the PM had shown me a letter addressed to him by Bedi". I do remember that he once contested the DDCA president post and lost it. Jaitley retorted: "An election result is the outcome of several factors prevailing in the constituency and not merely a test of a candidate's reputation, considering that (Kejriwal) had lost the same Lok Sabha election in 2014 by 3.5 lakh votes".

This took the line of questioning to elections and Mr Jaitley's defeat in Amritsar in the 2014 national election.

Kejriwal's lawyer said, "You take my advice, don't get into irrelevant matters and only answer what I asked". However, 11 questions were disallowed by the court.

Mr. Jaitley also acknowledged that several tweets by Bishan Singh Bedi and Sitaram Yechuri were re-tweeted by Mr. Kejriwal, but said it in no way concerned him as they referred to developments of 2015, and he had ceased to be the DDCA president in 2013. Jaitley said that there are overlapping areas in the meaning of the two words. When Jethmalani confronted Jaitley with various statements on alleged irregularities in DDCA while he was heading it - purportedly made by CPM leader Sitaram Yechury and Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ajay Maken - the minister said he is not concerned with Yechury's statements and not aware of statements made by others.

"I strongly deny the contents of this letter in so far it pertains to me".

Arun Jaitley was cross-examined by Ram Jethmalani. However, as on Monday, when 11 of the questions were disallowed by the court, even on Tuesday he chose to stay clear of a few of them.

The cross-examination, remaining inconclusive, will now continue on May 15 and 17.

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