The Delhi High Court on Wednesday imposed a cost of Rs 10,000 on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal after he failed to file a reply in a second Rs 10 crore defamation suit by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over his former lawyer Ram Jethmalani using the word “crook”.
The fine was imposed by Joint Registrar Pankaj Gupta after Kejriwal failed to file response on the plea, and granted further two more weeks to respond.
Jaitley, in the second civil defamation suit against Kejriwal, claimed the objectionable words caused him “permanent harm and disrepute”.
This is a separate case from the ongoing Rs 10 crore Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) defamation suit against Kejriwal and five other Aam Aadmi Party leaders that Jaitley filed in 2015.
On May 17, Jaitley and senior advocate Jethmalani clashed in the court with the Union Minister taking strong on objectionable word that Jethmalani used in his cross-examination.
Jethmalani had said that word was used by him on instructions from his Kejriwal; Jaitley then threatened to seek higher damages.
Kejriwal, however, has recently denied of instructing Jethmalani of using such objectionable words.
The second defamation suit stated that “Kejriwal has brazenly and with a malafide intent to cause further prejudice, damage and loss to the name, reputation and credibility of Jaitley has deliberately used the terminology…”
In December 2015, Jaitley filed a civil defamation suit against Kejriwal and AAP leaders Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpayee, claiming that they made “false and defamatory” statements in the case involving the DDCA, thereby harming his reputation.
Jaitley had sought Rs 10 crore in damages from Kejriwal and other AAP leaders in the DDCA case as well.
He had claimed that the AAP leaders attacked him over alleged irregularities and financial bungling in Delhi’s cricket association, of which he was the President for about 13 years.