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HC terms Jethmalani’s remarks ‘scandalous’, says let Kejriwal step into box

The court said if the remarks were made on instructions of Kejriwal, then he should "first step into the box and make good his allegations" before continuing with Jaitley's cross examination.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published: May 18, 2017 4:38 pm
kejriwal defamation case, ram jethmalani, arun jaitley, jethmalani scandalous remarks, arvind kejriwal, aap, aam aadmi party, delhi high court, delhi news, indian express Lawyers Ram Jethmalani (L) and Arun Jaitley (R). (Files)

The Delhi High Court on Thursday termed as “scandalous” certain remarks made by Arvind Kejriwal’s lawyer Ram Jethmalani against Arun Jaitley during his cross examination in a civil defamation suit filed by the Union Minister. Justice Manmohan said if such remarks were made on instructions of Kejriwal, then he should “first step into the box and make good his allegations” before continuing with Jaitley’s cross examination.

“If such allegations have been made on instructions of Defendant 1 (Kejriwal), then no point in continuing with cross examination of plaintiff (Jaitley) any more. Let Defendant 1 make good his allegations. Let him step into the box,” the judge orally observed.

Jaitley’s senior advocates Rajiv Nayar and Sandeep Sethi had raised the issue before the court saying they want a clarification from Kejriwal whether the remarks were made on his instructions or by Jethmalani on his own. Nayar said if Kejriwal had instructed the senior lawyer to make the adverse remark, then they would seek additional aggravated damages of Rs 10 crore from him.

If on the other hand, Jethmalani had on his own made the remark, then it would be a violation of the Bar Council of India rules, he said.

The court said that such manner of cross examination cannot be allowed and something has to be done. It directed Jaitley’s lawyers to file an application with regard to the adverse remarks made against him by Jethmalani. “What is to be done when such scandalous remarks are made. It’s unpleasant,” Justice Manmohan said and added that “cross (examination) should be carried out in accordance with law”.

The court said if cross examination is carried out in this manner in rape cases then it would amount to the victim being raped all over again and that too in court.

Jethmalani had made the remarks on Wednesday before Joint Registrar Deepali Sharma when Jaitley was being cross-examined in the Rs 10 crore civil defamation case filed by him against Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders for accusing him of financial irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) of which he was the President from 2000 to 2013.

Five AAP leaders — Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai — along with Kejriwal are also facing a criminal defamation case filed by Jaitley on the same issue. The issue cropped up before Justice Manmohan who was hearing an application moved by Chadha for making amendments in his written submission filed in reply to Jaitley’s plea.

During the hearing, the judge frowned upon the way the cross examination was carried out saying a person who has filed a defamation case “cannot be further defamed in this manner”. The amendment application was listed before another bench by the court on May 26.

Sparks flew during a charged-up hearing on Wednesday in the high court after Jaitley lost his cool when Jethmalani used a scandalous word to describe him. Jaitley, 64 , was in the court for the fourth round of cross-examination by Jethmalani yesterday in his defamation case against the AAP chief but the proceedings ended abruptly after an intense verbal duel broke out between the once close legal associates.

The proceedings had lasted barely 45 minutes. The joint registrar had on Wednesday posted the cross examination on July 28 and 31.

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  1. R
    Ramesh Chhabra
    May 18, 2017 at 9:01 pm
    Whether client had said or not to his/ her advocate. Whether client had use more than rough language before his/ her advocate in their Chamber, that's does not mean advocate especially a senior most advocate / senior citizen of India will cross all his/ her ethic limits before hon'ble court. Mr. Jethmalani should apologize before the court without raising question of Kejriwal. Mr. Kejriwal be given an opportunity to subs ute his lawyer first.
    1. M
      M Vyas
      May 18, 2017 at 8:56 pm
      During emergency an arrest warrant warrant was issued against this gentleman by Indore hi Govt and my family gave him a shelter in our g pa house..Today he is trying to look like lion but forgotten those days when he was helpless clueless and was not able to defend himself and was scared for jail going..
      1. N
        narendra Nath
        May 18, 2017 at 8:50 pm
        Kejari’s electoral success was a reaction to corrupt congress rule. Kejari mistakenly thought it gave him a license to abuse. This psychopath will end up behind bars of jail or asylum. Jethmalani has developed senile dementia and for his own good should stay indoors. But looks like he is bent upon loosing whatever good name he had earned. He has made it a business to defend crooks and do anything and everything against BJP which had unceremoniously expelled him.
        1. I
          May 18, 2017 at 8:45 pm
          Two liars : Liar (Kejariwal) and his lawyer (Jethmalani) !
          1. N
            May 18, 2017 at 8:29 pm
            Well done Mr Jethmalani for putting that liar in a bigger soup. Besides paying you let him dish out another 20 crores.
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