Five months after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley filed a civil defamation suit against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders for allegedly making defamatory statements regarding his role in the “financial mismanagement” of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), the court is yet to frame issues and start trial of the suit.
Jaitley has sought Rs 10 crore in damages from Kejriwal, Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai for issuing allegedly false and defamatory statements against him and his family members in connection with alleged irregularities in DDCA when he was its president.
The case remains at the stage of filing of documents, with the Delhi High Court Friday allowing the AAP leaders to submit their written response on two documents, which, according to them, had been “added’ to the original suit when the Union finance minister had filed his response to the replies filed by AAP leaders.
The AAP leaders had filed applications alleging that Jaitley had raised “new allegations” in the civil suit, while filing his replication, which is not allowed.
A replication is the written submission filed by the plaintiff in a civil suit, after the defendant files their reply to the issues raised in the plaint. New allegations and issues cannot be raised in a replication.
The AAP leaders had sought court orders to strike off the “new allegations”. They had also argued that Jaitley had “attempted to enlarge the scope of the suit” by including two new documents in the replication. During arguments, senior advocate H S Phoolka, arguing for the AAP leaders, said the “fresh allegations” had not been part of the original case.
“You will confine yourself only to the two documents which, as per you, have been added in the replication,” said Justice Vipin Sanghi. The matter will now be heard on July 12.
Senior advocates Rajiv Nayar, Sandeep Sethi and Pratibha M Singh, appearing for Jaitley, told the court that the two documents mentioned in the applications by AAP leaders were part of the original plaint.
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