Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told a Patiala House Court on Tuesday that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other aam aadmi Party (AAP) leaders made "false" allegations against him and "defamed" him on social media, including Twitter and Facebook.
Jaitley was in court to record his statement in the defamation suit he has filed against Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders â€” Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Kumar Vishwas, Deepak Bajpai and AAP's national spokesperson Raghav Chadha â€” on 21 December. He has sought Rs 10 crore in damages.
"All six accused in the complaint have made/published statements which are false and defamatory. Their acts attracted adverse public comments and made my reputation discriminatory in public at large," he told Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Khanagwal.
"Raghav Chadha, by retweeting tweets of Arvind Kejriwal and others, has defamed me in public," he added.
The finance minister told the court Kejriwal and the AAP leaders made "defamatory" statements against him and his family members in connection with the alleged financial irregularities in the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) when he was heading the body.
"Kejriwal said money had been siphoned off and Jaitley is the beneficiary; its false," ANI quoted Jaitley as saying in the court.
The AAP leaders had alleged irregularities in the DDCA during Jaitley's tenure as its chief from 1999 to 2013. They had also claimed financial irregularities in the reconstruction of Ferozeshah the Kotla stadium by the DDCA.
Responding to the allegations, Jaitley told the court the DDCA had authorised a committee to supervise the reconstruction of the stadium and he was "not a member of that committee". "As (DDCA) president, I did not receive any money from anybody," ANI quoted him as saying.
Jaitley told the court the allegations were made to distract the attention from the CBI investigation against the Delhi chief minister's Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar, who is accused of fraud.
The court has adjourned the case. Next hearing has been scheduled on 3 February.
Arun Jaitley's criminal defamation case against A Kejriwal & other AAP leaders: Matter adjourned till February 3
â€” ANI (@ANI_news) January 5, 2016