Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday filed civil and criminal defamation cases against Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and some AAP leaders for making charges of alleged financial irregularities in Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) during his 14-year-old tenure as its chief.
As per PTI, Jaitley had sought Rs 10 crore in damages from the AAP leaders for making "false" statements against him over alleged irregularities in the DDCA.
The BJP leader first filed the civil defamation case in the Delhi High Court and the criminal defamation case against AAP leaders at the Patliala House court later.
Jaitley told the court that he did not take "a single penny" from DDCA and Kejriwal and others have made defamatory and baseless allegations.
Court after taking cognizance of Jaitley's complaint fixed the matter for hearing on January 5 and asked the complainant to record evidence in the case.
Jaitley was accompanied by senior BJP leaders Venkaiah Naidu, Smriti Irani, VK Malhotra to the Patiala House court.
As per reports, the cases were filed against Kejriwal and four other AAP leaders including Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai.
Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party hit back and its leader and senior Supreme Court advocate HS Phoolka filed a caveat in the Delhi High Court on behalf of party leaders Sanjay Singh, Ashutosh and Deepak Bajpai.
"We have filed a caveat on behalf of Sanjay Singh, Ashutosh and Deepak Bajpai. We have requested the High Court that no order should be passed without hearing us," Phoolka was quoted as saying by ANI.
The political slugfest between BJP and AAP entered a high-stakes phase with the Delhi government yesterday ordering a commission of inquiry into alleged irregularities in Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hitting back by declaring that he would file defamation cases against CM Arvind Kejriwal and five other AAP functionaries.
The Kejriwal government had yesterday ordered a probe headed by Gopal Subramaniam followed by a press conference by BJP MP and known Jaitley detractor Kirti Azad who repeated his charges of irregularities in DDCA but did not take Jaitley's name even once.
The Finance Minister had yesterday said that he was not seeking an apology nor would he settle for one and his legal team would initiate civil defamation cases against Kejriwal and others in the Delhi High Court and criminal defamation cases in the Patiala House courts for "false and defamatory" statements against him and his family members.
Jaitley also received support from India captain Virat Kohli and former stars Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. "Grateful to have @arunjaitley ji as the president of our association. He has always wanted to improve the game and help cricketers in every way," Kohli tweeted.
The AAP had accused Jaitley of financial wrong doings during his 14 year tenure as the DDCA chief – a charge completely denied by the Finance Minister.