NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday told the Delhi High Court that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders had launched a defamatory campaign against him and his family to get political mileage.
Jaitley said the right to freedom of speech and expression was not absolute and it did not extend a licence to anyone to defame any other citizen having fundamental rights under the Constitution. He made the submission in response to written statements filed by Kejriwal, Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai on a civil defamation suit Jaitley had filed against them.
In his response, Jaitley contended that the “defendants have, individually and collectively, in a calculated manner launched a per se defamatory campaign against plaintiff (Jaitley) and his family members for gaining political mileage and ulterior motives”.
Jaitley has sought `10 crore in damages from Kejriwal and the others for issuing allegedly false and defamatory statements against him and his family in connection with alleged irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association when he was its President.
Kejriwal and others moved an oral plea on Friday seeking time to file more documents to support their statements. The matter is slated for March 15.
Jaitely alleged that Kejriwal’s statement indicating that he did not have a reputation or character to protect “demonstrates his warped, flagitious and degenerate mindset and political bankruptcy”.
“Defendant 1 (Kejriwal) does not understand the basic concept of reputation, character and good standing,” he said.