Expelled BJP leader and jurist Ram Jethmalani on Monday cross-examined Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who has filed a Rs 10 crore civil defamation suit in the Delhi High Court against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five AAP leaders for accusing him of financial bungling in DDCA.
Jethmalani, appearing on behalf of Kejriwal, 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.
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However, 11 questions of the noted senior lawyer were disallowed by Joint Registrar Amit Kumar on the ground that some were matter of record and irrelevant to the case and others were questions of law and not fact and some could be argued during the hearing before the regular court.
The Finance Minister has already tendered evidence in support of his civil defamation suit against Kejriwal and five AAP leaders — Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai.
However, Jaitley, facing a barrage of questions from his former BJP colleague who was expelled from the party in 2013 for six years, refuted Kejriwal’s claim that the December 2015 CBI raid at the Delhi Chief Minister’s office was “purely” aimed at removing files related to alleged irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) in which the Finance Minister was allegedly named.
“I recollect reading from media that defendant no.1 (CM) and may be some others had alleged that the CBI had conducted the raid to take away some files where they alleged that I was named. I am personally unaware of any such details,” Jaitley told the Joint Registrar.
He also said that he had no prior knowledge of the raid, nor had he even been privy to the facts of the raid.
Jaitley also denied accusations that he tried to influence Chetan Sanghi, Delhi government’s vigilance chief who handled DDCA case, and persuaded him to go back on his report.
The union minister, who had headed DDCA for 13 years, claimed he cannot recollect he had ever met the officer and, only through the media, he had got to know that the said commission of inquiry into DDCA was headed by a bureaucrat.
“I read in the media that bureaucrat Mr Sanghi had written to the Home Secretary, Government of India seeking posting in the Centre since the Delhi government felt offended by him for his having refused to name certain VIP in the DDCA inquiry,” he added.