The Delhi High Court today sought to know from dissident AAP leader Kumar Vishwas if he wanted to cross examine Arun Jaitley in the defamation suit filed against him by the Union Minister in the DDCA row in which Arvind Kejriwal and four others have already tendered apology.
Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw directed the counsel for Vishwas to bring the AAP leader to the court on the next date of hearing on May 3.
While the high court had on April 3 closed two defamation suits against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and four AAP leaders after a joint settlement plea was moved before it, a trial court had acquitted the CM and others, except rebel AAP leader Kumar Vishwas, in the criminal defamation case.
During the hearing today, advocate Manik Dogra, appearing for Jaitley, said Vishwas’ case alone “cannot stand on its two legs” as the rest of the AAP leaders have already tendered an apology.
He also said that Vishwas cannot rely on the defence taken by Kejriwal, as the chief minister has already apologised and the suit against him and four others did not exist any more.
“Counsel for plaintiff says defendent 1 (Kejriwal) has withdrawn all allegations and since defendent 4 (Vishwas) has relied on the written statement of Kejriwal, the allegations do not survive qua Kumar Vishwas. Let defendent 4 (Vishwas) appear in person on May 3,” Justice Endlaw said.
The court also noted the submission of Jaitley’s counsel that if Vishwas prefers to cross examine him, it could be done through video conferencing.
The high court had on April 3 allowed joint settlement plea of Jaitley, Kejriwal and four AAP leaders — Raghav Chadha, Sanjay Singh, Ashutosh and Deepak Bajpai– in the Rs 10 crore defamation suit filed against them by the union minister.
The court, however, had said the defamation suit against Vishwas will continue as did not offer to settle the matter.
Jaitley had lodged the defamation suit in December 2015 against Kejriwal and the five AAP leaders after they had alleged financial irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) when the union minister was its president. The BJP leader had denied all these allegations.