Jaitley quizzed for second day in defamation case

Mar 08, 2017, 00:33
Jaitley quizzed for second day in defamation case

Jethmalani had fired 52 questions to Jaitley in his bid to prove that the lawsuit on defamation by the senior BJP leader was unfounded and should be dismissed.

When asked if he made any efforts to reverse the alleged damage, Jaitley replied: "I contradicted the allegations in the media and also in Parliament where echoes of these allegations were raised". "Do you agree that reputation does not suffer from this kind of defect", asked Jethmalani.

Union minister Arun Jaitley, fighting for damages from Arvind Kejriwal for his alleged libelous statement, faced a renewed attack from lawyer Ram Jethmalani who tried to connect the BJP politician's 2014 electoral rout to a lack of reputation.

Connecting lack of reputation with the BJP minister's defeat in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Jethmalani asked whether that was the first time he was putting his reputation at test in a democracy.

The minister responded: "The value I placed, towards loss of my reputation was only a small part of the enormous damage done", also pointing out that "the loss of my reputation has been partly quantified in terms of money". Further arguing on how the damage to his reputation is irreplaceable and unquantifiable, Arun Jaitley stated that considering his stature and reputation, the loss of his reputation was so enormous that it was considered to be unquantifiable.

Jaitley told the court that the statements by AAP leaders were made to deflect attention from the raid and link him to a controversy related to the functioning of DDCA.

He had also said that he had no prior knowledge of the raid, nor had he even been privy to the facts of the raid. He was cross-examining Jaitley for the second consecutive day at the Delhi high court in connection with the defamation case filed by the latter against Kejriwal and five other Aam Aadmi Party leaders.

While refuting the allegations of financial bungling in DDCA, Jaitley reiterated, "This letter (by Bishan Bedi) was written in 2015, even though I had ceased to be the president of DDCA in 2013".

The Union minister, who had headed DDCA for 13 years, told Jethmalani that he can not recollect that he had ever met the officer.

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

Yesterday Jaitley in his cross had said that he had never objected to political criticism, but this was an instance when "personal imputations questioning my integrity were made".

When asked if he was aware that the Delhi Government was contemplating the appointment of a commission of inquiry in respect of some matters connected with the DDCA, Jaitley said he had left the president-ship of the DDCA in 2013 and had no interest in the activities of this association thereafter. The hearing will continue on Tuesday.