NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today filed both civil and criminal defamation cases against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders for allegedly defaming him and sought Rs 10 crores in damages and their prosecution for offences that entails a punishment of upto two years in jail.
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A week after a CBI raid on the Chief Minister's secretariat against his principal secretary that triggered allegations by AAP against Jaitley in the affairs of the Delhi's cricket body DDCA, the minister took the legal recourse saying the AAP leaders' "malicious and defamatory" campaign was causing irreversible damage to him.
The others who have been named in both the petitions are Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai.
The Patiala House Courts in the heart of the city saw the rare spectacle of a union minister walking amidst a jostling crowd of BJP supporters, who shouted slogans against Kejriwal, to enter the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Khanagwal to file the criminal complaint.
Jaitley came to the court a little after lunch at 2.05 pm and the proceedings lasted 35 minutes.
A phalanx of union ministers, including M Venkaiah Naidu, Smriti Irani, Dharmendra Pradhan and J P Nadda, also came to the court and later said they were showing solidarity with Jaitley describing him as a man of impeccable integrity.
The complaint was filed under various sections of the IPC including 499 (defamation), 500 (punishment), 501 and 502 (printing and sale of defamatory matter).
Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, who appeared for Jaitley, himself an eminent lawyer, pleaded for immediately recording the minister's statement but the court just took cognisance of the complaint and posted the case for January 5 when Jaitley will record his testimony.
Earlier in the day, Jaitley filed a civil suit in the Delhi High Court against Kejriwal and five others AAP leaders for issuing allegedly false and defamatory statements against him and his family members.
Jaitley's counsel advocate Manik Dogra said the civil suit, in which he has sought Rs 10 crores as damages, will come up in the normal course of listing.