Jaitley vs Jethmalani: Cross Examination and a War of Words http://blog.konkanitube.in/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/1488816064_jaitley-vs-jethmalani-cross-examination-and-a-war-of-words.png

New Delhi: A war of words ensued between senior advocate Ram Jethmalani appearing for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday while the latter was being cross-examined in the District Cricket Association (DDCA) defamation case.

Jethmalani attacked the very basis of Jaitley’s contention of defamation that his reputation was tarnished stating that it was the Finance Minister’s own assumption that he was “great”.

“It was your personal feeling about your own greatness that cannot be quantified in physical measure,” said Ram Jethmalani while he asked Jaitley to explain the meaning of the word “unquantifiable” which he had used in his petition.

To this, Jaitley said that considering his reputation and the loss caused to it, it could be considered “unquantifiable”.

“A person’s reputation operates in a public space and hence causes mental distress to the person,” said Jaitley.

However, Jethmalani was persistent on the fact that the defamatory statement Jaitley alleges to have been made by AAP did not cause him any monetary damage.

“You have not suffered any monetary damage as a result of this. In other words, you have neither lost money nor income,” said Jethmalani.

Jaitley on Monday appeared before the Delhi High Court in connection with DDCA defamation case. The case has been instituted by Jaitley against Kejriwal and five other Aam Aadmi Party leaders after they had accused Jaitley of financial irregularities in DDCA, a body which the Finance Minister once headed.

In his defamation suit, Jaitley has sought Rs 10 crore in damages from Kejriwal and others for their allegations of irregularities and financial bungling in DDCA when he was its president for 13 years till 2013. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, who has denied the charges, has also filed a criminal defamation complaint in a city court on the same matter while the DDCA, too, has moved court against Kejriwal.

On Monday, Jethmalani, over the course of the court proceeding, asked the Finance Minister a series of 50 questions.

The cross-examination became heated when Jethmalani asked Jaitley as to whether he knew the difference between “Reputation and Goodwill” and said that the meaning of the words were completely different.

Although Jaitley denied any such difference, Jethmalani raised the court room temperature when he said, “Men in power often do good things for their good friends and enjoy a lot of good will. I suggest that even a crook that has done some good things for somebody enjoys a lot of good will.”

While the senior advocate questioned as to whether he has read the defamatory portions himself and was sure that they were defamatory in nature, Jaitley retorted for raising objections on his “common sense.”

“Don’t insult my common sense. I’ve quoted them in supporting documents and they are on record,” said Jaitley.

The matter has now been adjourned by the Delhi HC to Tuesday.

First Published: March 6, 2017, 8:09 PM IST