New Delhi/ Nagpur: Union Minister Arun Jaitley has no high public “reputation to protect” and that has been proved by his huge electoral defeat in the Lok Sabha election, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told a court today. The statement was his response to the criminal defamation suit filed by Mr Jaitley.
The Union minister’s claim that he enjoys a high public character is “frivolous”, Mr Kejriwal asserted. “Indian democracy has never accepted his claim of public character.”
Last month, Mr Jaitley filed the suit against Mr Kejriwal and five other leaders of his Aam Aadmi Party over their allegations that he had presided over large-scale corruption in Delhi’s cricket body, the DDCA, during his 13-year-stint as the organisation’s chief. He has also filed a civil suit, claiming Rs. 10 crore in damages.
“The plaintiff’s claim that he enjoys and in fact possesses high public character is a totally frivolous and unsustainable claim,” Mr Kejriwal’s response read. “This defendant denies that he has any reputation of this kind to protect.”
In a democracy one’s public reputation can only be the reaction, response and manifestation of the people’s attitude, Mr Kejriwal argued.
“The last time he (Mr Jaitley) contested the election to the Lok Sabha was from Amritsar as a BJP candidate in 2014. Despite the success of the BJP, this plaintiff lost by a margin of more than 1,00,000 votes. Indian democracy has never accepted his claim of public character.”
Last week, Mr Jaitley told a Delhi court that Mr Kejriwal had started a “false, malicious and defamatory campaign for political mileage, causing irreversible damage” to him. “Kejriwal has falsely stated that money was siphoned off and I was the beneficiary,” he had said in an hour-long statement.