DDCA row: Allegations against Jaitley based on facts, Kejriwal tells HC

New Delhi: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday claimed that the allegations he had made against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the DDCA row were based on "true facts and documents in public domain" and that his claim he has high public character was "frivolous". 

Responding to a notice issued by the Delhi High Court on a civil defamation suit by Jaitley against him and five other AAP leaders, Kejriwal said in a statement filed before the court registrar that he had made the allegations in public interest to eradicate corruption from sports. 

Senior advocate H S Phoolka, lawyer for Kejriwal, said the chief minister has said in a written statement that "the allegations are true and have been in public domain for last many years. 

"The venture (DDCA) did not take any steps to challenge these allegations for all this period. It raises a presumption of truthfulness of these allegations," he claimed. 

Phoolka told reporters that "the allegations are made in public interest to eradicate corruption from the field of sports". 

AAP's senior leader and party spokesperson, Raghav Chadha, also filed his response to the notice.

Elaborating on the contents of his reply, he claimed that no injury has been caused to the reputation of Jaitley. 

He maintained that he and the Chief Minister have a similar stand and said that Jaitley's "claim that he enjoys a high public character is totally frivolous and unsustainable." 

"The last time he 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," they said in their reply. The High Court on December 22 last year had sought the 

response of Kejriwal, Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai--on a civil defamation suit by Jaitley seeking Rs 10 crore in damages from them for issuing allegedly false and defamatory statements against him and his family. 

Phoolka said they have submitted over 2000 pages of documents along with three CDs in support of the allegations. 

It is learnt they have annexed Delhi and District Cricket Association's (DDCA) annual meeting notings which as per the AAP leaders establishes the allegations against Jaitley. They have also submitted DDCA's minutes of meetings and phone records, Phoolka said. 

The counsel said that Kejriwal has questioned why BJP MP Kirti Azad was not made a party to the suit. 

Jaitley's action had come in the backdrop of attacks on him by Kejriwal and other AAP leaders over alleged irregularities and financial bunglings in DDCA of which he was the president for about 13 years till 2013. 

The minister has also filed a criminal defamation complaint in a Delhi court against Kejriwal and the five AAP leaders for making false allegations about financial irregularities in DDCA. 

In his suit, Jaitley had said Kejriwal and other AAP leaders, with common intention, have from December 15, 2015, "undertaken a false, malicious and defamatory campaign against him and his family members for political mileage causing irreversible damage to him". 

It was done to deflect issues from an unrelated search during investigation by CBI of a bureaucrat in the secretariat of the Delhi government based on a complaint by a third party, Jaitley had said.