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Defamation suit against Arvind Kejriwal: Called Jaitley a crook on client’s instructions, says Jethmalani

Jethmalani said he used the word on instructions of his client

Written by Manish Raj | New Delhi | Updated: May 18, 2017 7:07 am
Arun Jaitley, defamation case, arvind kejriwal defamation case, finance minister arun jaitley, ram jethmalani, advocate ram jethmalani, india news, indian express news Ram Jethmalani and Arun Jaitley

The court of the joint registrar (judicial) in the Delhi High Court witnessed tense scenes as the cross-questioning of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley by senior advocate Ram Jethmalani continued on Wednesday. This was the fourth time Jaitley was examined in the civil defamation suit, filed by him against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five AAP leaders seeking Rs 10 crore in damages. At one stage, the court noted that Jethmalani had called Jaitley a “crook”. Raising “serious objections”, Jaitley and his counsels, senior advocates Rajiv Nayar and Sandeep Sethi, called for a “definite statement” on whether the word “crook” was used by Jethmalani in his personal capacity or on instructions of his client, Kejriwal.

(PTI adds: “If this is so, I would aggravate the charges against the defendant (Kejriwal),” Jaitley said, adding that there was a limit to personal malice.) Jethmalani said he used the word on instructions of his client. But the instructing counsel for Kejriwal denied this, following which Jethmalani said he had received the instructions during his meetings with his client, in the absence of the counsel. Earlier, starting the cross-examination, Jethmalani said that in the last proceedings on May 15, Jaitley had made a statement saying that though he did not read the weekly newspaper, Sunday Guardian, he might be able to find if any article had been published against him. “I read some prominent newspapers and economic newspapers regularly. What is published in hundreds of other newspapers about me is not necessarily brought to my notice,” said Jaitley.

When Jaitley said he read The Indian Express, Jethmalani showed him a document (a half-page advertisement from April, 2015) published in the newspaper. “Now this article in The Indian Express had been written and sent to Sunday Guardian on a Friday, intended to be published on Sunday. What do you have to say?” The court disallowed the question, saying it was already observed as irrelevant in the last proceedings.

Jethmalani then suggested that before the article was to be published, Jaitley had “arranged with the staff not to publish it”. The court again disallowed the question on the same premise. Jethmalani again said that though the article was going to be published on April 26, 2015 on a specific page, it was not published. Disallowing the question, the court said the senior lawyer was seeking “specific inquiries” in a case, which was not an issue in the present matter.

Jethmalani then asked when Jaitley read the article (ad) for the first time. Disallowing the question again, the court noted that during the questioning, Jethmalani had referred Jaitley as being “guilty of crimes and crookery”, to which, Jaitley and his counsel had raised objections. The matter has now been listed for July 28 and July 31.

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  1. P
    May 18, 2017 at 10:37 pm
    Beware, the basic purpose of Jethmalani is to er the case on and on and try to frustrate Naitley. That is precisely the reason, he is putting irrelevant questions in his cross examination.
    1. R
      Ramesh Chhabra
      May 18, 2017 at 8:45 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 his/ her ethic limits before hon'ble court.
      1. Mahesh Kumar
        May 18, 2017 at 6:00 pm
        Jethmalani has least concern for Kejriwal. He has taken this case to satisfy his personal grudge. Kejriwal is going to be affected more because of Jethmalani than Jaitley.
        1. P
          Parth Garg
          May 18, 2017 at 3:09 pm
          If someone has fixed a 10 Crore price of his re tion he is required to prove it while the defendant has every right to question the valuation vis-a-vis the claimant's character and quality.
          1. M
            May 18, 2017 at 4:09 pm
            To call the plaintiff a "crook', or imply it, in open court, has got nothing to do with "valuation" of the damages claimed. Are you a lawyer ? If so, you have forgotten the fundamentals of the Law of Tort. Damages relate to the 'standing' of a person in his or her profession and as a social en y. Read cases which state that a plaintiff in a tort case need not prove that he or she has NO blemish in his or her career or record. Defamation rests on an Untrue statement that would have the effect of lowering the general re tion of a person. But special damages can be awarded if much more can be proved in relation to, say, the Delhi Cricket Board.....
            1. Simmi
              May 18, 2017 at 10:52 pm
              Kirti Azad‏ @KirtiAzadMP 11h ' Only 24cr had legal sanction out of 400cr @arunjaitley #DDCAFraud, rest of the money was embezzled w/o tenders or approval @BishanBedi
          2. S
            May 18, 2017 at 11:24 am
            A respected Advocate should show some decency, that too when representing a destructive Client of established Credentials against a Highly respected member of a civilized Society. This is unbecoming of an SC Advocate.
            1. A
              May 18, 2017 at 2:53 pm
              RJ has been like that for years, will he change at the end of his life!
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