NEW DELHI: Union Minister Arun Jaitley today told the Delhi High Court he has been cross-examined "eight times" by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's counsel who have not asked any question on the alleged defamatory remarks, for which he had filed a libel suit against the AAP leaders.
Instead of asking questions relating to the allegations, Kejriwal's counsel were going "all around the world", he said.
"There were two defamatory imputations made and eight hearings have already been done and not a single question has been asked on that and you are going all around the world. This is when the question of relevancy comes," Jaitley told Delhi High Court's Joint Registrar Rakesh Pandit.
He said this at the end of the over one-and-a-half-hour-long hearing in the Rs 10 crore civil defamation suit filed by the BJP leader against Kejriwal and five AAP leaders.
Senior advocates Rajiv Nayyar and Sandeep Sethi and advocate Manik Dogra, representing Jaitley, alleged that the AAP leaders wanted to prolong the litigation and have not yet concluded the cross-examination even after eight hearings.
Senior counsel Anoop George Chaudhari and advocate Anupam Srivastav, appearing for Kejriwal, said they would take some more time to cross-examine the finance minister.
The court listed the matter for further proceedings on November 30, when Jaitley's cross-examination would continue.
Jaitley, 64, was present in the court for the eighth round of cross-examination in the defamation suit filed by him against Kejriwal and AAP leaders Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai, for accusing him of financial irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) of which he was the President from 1999 to 2013. The allegations were denied by the union minister.
During the hearing, Jaitley claimed that suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad had also made false and motivated complaint and cited reasons for it.
He also testified that several cricketing clubs were affiliated to the sports committee of DDCA and one such club was of the Syndicate Bank.
He claimed that the bank had voluntarily handed over the club to one of its employees and made it a private club and a few years later, the bank changed its decision and wanted the club back, which was eventually done.
"The DDCA office bearers had committed no wrong. It was the bank which changed its decision. This is apparent from the documents which are on record. Notwithstanding this reality, Kirti Azad made a motivated complaint against the DDCA office bearers. It is therefore, that I call it motivated," Jaitley testified.
The court granted two weeks to Jaitley to respond to separate pleas of Kejriwal, Ashutosh and Chadha seeking to place on record additional documents relating to DDCA's special audit report for 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15.
Jaitley had filed a second defamation suit of Rs 10 crore against Kejriwal after an exchange of heated words between the counsel representing AAP leaders and those of union minister over the usage of abusive words against the latter.