NEW DELHI: Hitting back at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for making "false and defamatory" statements against him, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is slapping criminal and civil defamation cases against him and five other AAP leaders in Delhi courts tomorrow.
Jaitley told PTI tonight that he has instructed legal team in his personal capacity to institute civil defamation cases in the Delhi High Court and criminal defamation cases in the Patiala House courts against Kejriwal, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpayee. He accused them of issuing false and defamatory statements against him and his family members.
Jaitley's action comes in the backdrop of attacks on him by Kejriwal and other AAP leaders over alleged irregularities and financial bunglings in Delhi's cricket body, Delhi and District Cricket Association, of which he was the president for about 13 years till 2013. Kejriwal and the five AAP leaders have publicly been making allegations against Jaitley with regard to the DDCA affairs although some of the allegations have gone beyond that.
Jaitley has also rubbished allegations against his family members, saying, "I have no family member who has even one paise interest in any form of business. Why should my family be part of a sports management business? Jaitley has chosen not to give any legal notice to Kejriwal and other AAP leaders asking them to apologise or face defamation cases. Instead, the cases will be filed straightaway in the courts.
Coming out strongly in his support, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "We are proud of the impeccable qualities of honesty, integrity and credibility of Arun Jaitley. The transparency and credibility with which he has lived his public life all these years and his commitment to probity is too well known."
A defiant AAP Leader Deepak Bajpai said, "We are not going to be bogged down by such intimadatory tactics. We are privy of Arun Jaitley's history. Moreover after today's expose, whole country has come to know about the truth and we are committed to fight against corruption whatever it takes."
Another leader Ashutosh said,"Jaitley don't threaten us with defamation. Answer the questions we had asked? You will take us to court, we will take you to people's court.