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Jethmalani used scandalous remarks against Jaitley: HC

20 Mai 2017

Terming as "scandalous" certain remarks made by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal's lawyer Ram Jethmalani against Union Minister Arun Jaitley, the Delhi High Court on Thursday observed that the one who has already filed a defamation suit can not be defamed again.

Justice Manmohan said if such remarks were made on the instructions of Delhi chief minister Kejriwal, then he should "first step into the box and make good his allegations".

"I will aggravate the charges against the defendants (Kejriwal)... there is a limit to personal malice", Jaitley said on Wednesday after Jethmalani said it has been used by him on instruction from Kejriwal.

Senior counsels Rajiv Nayyar and Sandeep Sethi representing Jaitley objected to Jethmalani referring to the Minister as being "guilty of crime and crookery".

If on the other hand, Jethmalani had on his own made the remark, then it would be a violation of the Bar Council of India rules, he said. "Moreover, the defendant number 1 (Kejriwal) is seeking to make specific inquiries into a matter, which is not in issue in the instant case", the JR said.

The remarks in question were made by Jethmalani during his cross examination in a civil defamation suit filed by the Union Minister.

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"... What is to be done when such scandalous remarks are made...?" said Justice Manmohan, adding that if a rape victim was subject to such cross-examination, it would tantamount to the victim being raped again and again in court. "Let him step into the box", the judge said.

"What is to be done when such scandalous remarks are made?"

Mr. Jethmalani had made the remarks on Wednesday before Joint Registrar Deepali Sharma, when the Union Minister was being cross-examined in the ₹10 crore civil defamation case filed by him against Mr. Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders for accusing him of financial irregularities in the DCCA.

Five AAP leaders - Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai - along with Kejriwal are also facing a criminal defamation case filed by Jaitley on the same issue. The issue cropped up before Justice Manmohan who was hearing an application moved by Chadha for making amendments in his written submission filed in reply to Jaitley's plea.

The term angered Jaitley and heated exchange followed between the duo and between their legal teams, forcing the court to adjourn the fourth round of cross-examination for July 28 and 30.