Defamation case: Court concludes pre-summoning evidence in Jaitley's complaint

The recording of pre-summoning evidence in a defamation case filed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders was on Wednesday concluded by the Delhi court, which fixed the matter for arguments on February 15.

PTI| Updated: Feb 03, 2016, 20:46 PM IST

New Delhi: The recording of pre-summoning evidence in a defamation case filed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders was on Wednesday concluded by the Delhi court, which fixed the matter for arguments on February 15.

After the court concluded recording of evidence of three complainant witnesses today, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Khanagwal fixed the hearing for February 15 for arguments on the point of summoning Kejriwal and five others in the case.

"Recording of pre-summoning evidence concluded. Put up for arguments on the point of summoning on February 15," the court said.

The court also granted exemption from personal appearance to Jaitley for today only and allowed his plea filed through senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, who said the senior BJP leader could not attend the hearing as he was busy in a meeting in Bangalore.

During the hearing, three witnesses -- lawyer Ved Prakash Sharma, treasurer of Delhi District and Cricket Association (DDCA), Ravinder Manchanda, and Registrar of Companies' (RoC) deputy registrar Rajneesh Kumar Singh recorded their statements before the court. Sharma, who is also a member of Bar Council of India, said he knew Jaitley since past four decades and knew him as a sports lover and an honest man with impeccable integrity.

He further said that after seeing the reports in media about the allegations made by Kejriwal and other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders against Jaitley that money was siphoned off during his tenure as DDCA president, he was shocked and upset. Manchanda, who brought all DDCA records regarding the renovation of Ferozshah Kotla stadium here, also said that all decisions taken were duly approved by members of Annual General Meeting (AGM) and other board members.

The deputy registrar of ROC produced documents relating to M/s 21st Century Media Pvt Ltd to show that none of the family members of Jaitley were associated with the company.

In his complaint, Jaitley had alleged that Kejriwal and others have made defamatory statements that he and his family members have made pecuniary gains by associating with M/s 21st Century Media Pvt Ltd which is a sports management company.