Defamation suit: HC imposes more cost on CM

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Kejriwal told to pay ₹ 5,000 for delay in filing his response to a new lawsuit filed by Jaitley

The Delhi Supreme Court imposed another ₹ 5,000 as a cost on Monday to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for delay in filing his response to a ₹ 10 crore defamation suit filed by Union Minister Arun Jaitley on the use of a word allegedly reprehensible by the former CM lawyer.

Joint Secretary Pankaj Gupta addressed Mr. Kejriwal, who was previously slapped with ₹ 10,000 as a cost, to deposit ₹ 5,000 in the “Army Welfare Fund Battle Accidents”

The cost was imposed after Jaitley’s lawyer, Manik Dogra, informed the court that the CM’s written statement was filed beyond the two-week deadline granted by the court on July 26.

The lawyer alleged that these were tactics of delay by the CM.

Attorney Rishikesh Kumar, who appeared for Mr. Kejriwal, urged the court to allow the delay because the written statement could not be filed because of certain technical objections raised on two occasions by the Superior Court Registry.

‘Abuse in court’

Taking note of this communication, the Secretary approved the delay on behalf of the CM and said that it was “subject to the deposit of ₹ 5,000 expenses”.

The court settled the matter on 12 October.

Mr. Kejriwal, in his response to the defamation suit, filed through counsel Anupam Srivastava, held that Mr. Jaitley’s claim “could be dismissed, since no civil action for damages for slander in any statement in the allegations or during the conduct of a claim against a party or a witness therein. ”

On 23 May, the Supreme Court asked Mr. Kejriwal to respond to the question of why a defamation process should not be initiated against him.

Mr. Jaitley had filed the second lawsuit for defamation after Kejriwal’s then attorney, Ram Jethmalani, allegedly “abused” him in a public hearing during the proceedings for another defamation suit he had filed against the head of the AAP and others five party officials.