New Delhi: Suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad on Monday told Delhi High Court that no allegations were attributed to him in the civil defamation suit filed by DDCA against him and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for their alleged remarks about the functioning and finances of the cricket body.
Azad's counsel told Justice V Kameswar Rao that in the plaint filed by the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA), there was reference to 14 newspaper articles but there were no specific allegations against his client. "There is no cause of action against defendent number two (Azad). No allegations have been attributed to Azad," he said. However, DDCA's counsel Sangram Patnaik said Azad has not filed written reply to the civil defamation suit filed by the cricketing body.
The bench asked Azad to file written reply to the suit seeking damages of Rs five crore. "You (Azad) file a reply so that he (DDCA's counsel) can give a response to it," the bench said and posted the matter for further hearing on July 7. On March 2, Joint Registrar Anil Kumar Sisodia had directed Kejriwal and Azad to submit their statements within 30 days, after they had failed to file it on that day on the ground that they had not received the full copy of the suit.
The direction had come during hearing on DDCA suit in which Kejriwal and Azad were issued notice on January 15 for filing their written statements. DDCA had earlier alleged that Kejriwal "with prior motive, indulged in certain false, shocking, scandalous, defamatory, baseless, slanderous, malicious, disgraceful and outrageous statements which are defamatory against them".
The counsel had said that Azad had also indulged in making such statements "which were made solely with an agenda to defame and cause harm to the plaintiff (DDCA), for self- serving and motivated reasons".
The DDCA had claimed that the allegations regarding financial irregularities and corruption in selections at the junior level were "maligning the image" of the cricket body.
"Consequently, DDCA has suffered a loss of more than Rs 500 crore. However, DDCA is choosing to file the present suit for the damages arising out of the said defamation by the defendants, in the sum of Rs five crore (Rs 2.5 crore each). "In addition to this, a public apology is also demanded by DDCA from Kejriwal and Azad," the complaint had said. It had alleged that Kejriwal and Azad have "flagrantly violated all principles of responsible behaviour and ethics".