Jaitley says Kejriwal’s defamatory statements a deflecting tactic

New Delhi, March 6 (IANS) Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday told the Delhi High Court that the defamatory statements made by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal were to deflect from the raid conducted in the office of Kejriwal’s aide in December last year.

“It appears that defendants (Kejriwal and others) made defamatory statements against me immediately after this raid. Their effort was to deflect the attention from this raid and somehow link me to the controversy with which I have no connection,” Jaitley said while being cross-examined by Kejriwal’s defence counsel Ram Jethmalani.

Jaitley’s statement, which was recorded by a joint registrar, came when Jethmalini told him that the raid was conducted on the office of Kejriwal’s former Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar in December 2015 because documents related to Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) were expected to be recovered.

In December 2015, Jaitley filed a civil defamation case against Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party leaders Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpayee, claiming that they made “false and defamatory” statements in a case involving DDCA, thereby harming his reputation.

He claimed that AAP leaders had attacked him over alleged irregularities and financial bungling in Delhi’s cricket association, of which he was the president for about 13 years.

Jethmalani asked Jaitley whether he was aware that the Delhi government was appointing a commission to inquire into the controversy.

Jaitley said that he left the post in 2013. “I had no interest in the activity of this association, nor was I acquainted. I was not aware of any such inquiry.”

The hearing will continue on Tuesday.