The Delhi High Court on Friday slammed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for questioning the court’s decision of appointing a single judge in a defamation case against him filed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The court further said it has reserved the order on Kejriwal’s plea against the single judge’s decision to speed up the hearing in the defamation suit involving him and five other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders. In its statement, the court said it is duty-bound to conduct trial in an expeditious manner. It further added the decision to appoint a single judge cannot be faulted for ensuring a speedy trial.
Challenging the decision made by the court in July to appoint a single judge in the case, the AAP leader, in a plea, said the court does not have the right to interfere while the proceedings regarding recording of evidence are ongoing in the court.
Earlier this week, the court had sent a notice to Kejriwal seeking his reply on a fresh plea filed by Jaitley in connection with an ongoing criminal defamation case. The Union Minister sought an action against the Delhi CM for allegedly submitting a false affidavit in which the AAP chief claimed he had not instructed his the then counsel Ram Jethmalani to use abusive words against him.
Kejriwal, along with five other AAP leaders, is embroiled in a criminal defamation suit after they leveled charges of involvement in corruption practices against Jaitley during his time as the Chairman of the Delhi & District Cricket Association. Jaitley is seeking Rs 10 crore in damages. He further has asked the court to revise the figure in case it is found that the Delhi CM used his lawyer to abuse him in court during the hearing.