New Delhi: In a setback to Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi high court on Wednesday dismissed his plea to stay trial court proceedings in a criminal defamation case filed by Arun Jaitley against 6 AAP leaders including the Delhi chief minister.
The court said no prejudice would be caused to the accused by the parallel hearing of civil and criminal defamation cases.
Both civil and criminal cases can go together, the court added. Jaitley had, in December last year, filed both civil and criminal defamation cases against Kejriwal and the other five AAP leaders for allegedly defaming him and sought Rs 10 crores in damages and their prosecution for offences that entails a punishment of upto two years in jail.
Jaitley has alleged that Kejriwal and other AAP leaders had made defamatory statements against him and his family that they had made pecuniary gains by associating with M/s 21st Century Media Pvt Ltd, a sports management firm.
A week after a CBI raid on the chief minister’s secretariat against his principal secretary triggered allegations by AAP against Jaitley in the affairs of the Delhi’s cricket body DDCA, the minister took the legal recourse saying the AAP leaders’ “malicious and defamatory” campaign was causing irreversible damage to him.
On January 5, Jaitley had appeared in the court and had recorded his statement as the complainant witness in the case. He had told the court that Kejriwal and five AAP leaders had made “false and defamatory” statements.
The finance minister had rejected the charge that he had syphoned off money from DDCA for his own benefit. The finance minister had said that the statements of the six AAP leaders against him and his family members lowered his dignity in the eyes of the public at large.
Jaitley had said Kejriwal’s statement that he received money when the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium was constructed during his tenure as the DDCA chief, was false as the board of directors had constituted a committee to supervise the work and he was not a member of this supervisory committee.