Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Tuesday told a Delhi court that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders had allegedly made defamatory statements and targeted him for alleged corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). He added that their “intention was to deflect attention from a CBI investigation against a particular civil servant” working with Kejriwal.
Jaitley was deposing before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Khanagwal in the criminal defamation case filed by him against Kejriwal, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai.
Jaitley told the court that during his tenure as DDCA president, he “did not receive, directly or indirectly, a single rupee” from the association “on any account whatsoever”. He said he used to chair the DDCA board meeting, where only “important decisions” were put up for approval.
“The statements were made with malicious intention in order to lower my reputation amongst my friends and supporters…,” Jaitley told the court.
“Between December 1999 and December 2013, I was president of the DDCA. I discharged my functions lawfully and with utmost integrity… I have not even charged any amount towards my expenditure,” Jaitley added.
On the allegation by AAP of additional expenditure incurred while renovating Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium against the sanctioned budget, Jaitley said, “Executive committee/Boards of Directors of the DDCA had, at the relevant time, authorised a committee to supervise the construction… I was not a member of the committee charged with the construction of the stadium.”
“The accounts of DDCA were always duly audited and subsequently approved by the DDCA annual general meeting. These were submitted before the taxation authorities. The balance sheets, along with the annual report, were filed with the Registrar of Companies,” he said.
Jaitley also responded to allegations that 21st Century Media (TCM) was asked to sell and sub-lease corporate boxes at Kotla for 10 years at Rs 36 crore, for which a commission of Rs 5.4 crores was “paid” to the company. He told the court that TCM had been “professionally retained by the DDCA” for marketing seats and that neither him nor his family “had been a shareholder/director or had any fiduciary or pecuniary relationship” with TCM or its Director Lokesh Sharma.