Update: The minister’s lawyer, Siddharth Luthra, gave the court details of tweets and comments made by AAP leaders against Mt Jaitley and has contended that they were all intended to damage his reputation and that of his relatives.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has arrived at Delhi’s Patiala House Courts after filing a defamation case against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party for accusing him of corruption in Delhi’s cricket body DDCA, which he headed for 13 years till 2013.
New Delhi : The political fight over the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) has escalated further with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) going on the offensive against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is embroiled in the controversy, has filed a civil defamation case in the Delhi High Court against Arvind Kejriwal and four other AAP leaders for false statements against him and his family members. He is also expected to file a criminal defamation suit in the Patiala House Court.
Meanwhile, Sanjay Singh who is leading AAP’s counter attack has claimed that he will file an FIR against Jaitley. The Delhi government has ordered an inquiry into the alleged irregularities in the DDCA. AAP has also said that it will fight Jaitley in the people’s court.
Claiming that there was nothing wrong in the AAP raising the issue, former cricketer Bishen Singh Bedi said “we are all against corruption. There cannot be any fire with out smoke. Today, we got the visual proof for the corruption in DDCA. This controversy is in the domain of Delhi CM so what is wrong in AAP raising the matter.”
However, Jaitley has got backing from present cricketers. After Virendra Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Ishant Sharma, Indian test captain Virat Kohli has also come out in his support of Jaitley. “Grateful to have @arunjaitley ji as the president of our association..He has always wanted to improve the game & help cricketers in everyway,” he tweeted.
Hitting out at the Central government for not allowing a probe into alleged irregularities into the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), the Aam Aadmi Party had claimed that all attempts made by the Delhi government to investigate the ‘scam’ have been thwarted by the Centre.
AAP leader Raghav Chadha claimed that DDCA had a budget of Rs 24 crore but additional Rs 90 crore was also spent. “Jaitley said in Parliament that EPIL got contracts though EPIL only got Rs 57 crores. Where is the remaining amount,” he asked.
AAP also claimed that the main objective of the raid of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at Delhi Secretariat was to prevent the alleged graft in DDCA during Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s tenure coming to light.
AAP alleged that it is apparent that the DDCA and its officers-in-charge are involved in a number of acts which are criminal offences and are otherwise “unethical and contrary to the principles of a charitable company, much less of a sporting body. The construction of the stadium is mired in allegations and there is at least prima facie material to conclude that the construction of the stadium has led to huge loss to the DDCA and to the government and public in general.”
(with inputs from IBN)