From fast track to slow track: Jaitley vs Kejriwal

New Delhi : Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s lawyer Manik Dogra on Friday said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders, who had initially sought fast tracking of the criminal and civil defamation case with a day-to-day hearing, are now resorting to delay tactics with the objective of putting this case onto a slow track.

Dogra alleged that the AAP was indulging in theatrics to garner public attention.

“Forget fast track, they don’t want the adjudication of the case. It is fairly obvious that they (the defendants) are scared of the allegations in the plaint and in the replication, and therefore, are looking for ways to delay the adjudication as much and as far as possible,” he said.

Senior advocate H.S. Phoolka, who is representing Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the other AAP leaders, however, denied this position.

“What Jaitley has done is illegal. He has come out with a new case, which is not applicable under the law. The law is very clear on this point,” he told ANI in a telephonic conversation.

When pointed out that the views of Shri Arun Jaitley’s lawyers was that the case was being delayed by the AAP leaders, Mr. Phoolka did not agree and said “the other side is delaying it”.

Phoolka today filed two applications – one on the replication filed by Ashutosh, and the second relates to a demand by Deepak Bajpai, defendant number six, that the Jaitley suit should be dismissed.

Jaitley’s lawyer Manik Dogra, however, downplayed the applications calling them ‘fruitless’ and said this was yet another tactics to derail and prolong the proceedings. Dogra again questioned the AAP leaders, who had initially talked of day-to-day hearings but were now filing one application after another to put the case on a very slow track.

This case will be next heard on March 15.

Jaitley had filed a Rs. 10-crore civil defamation suit against Kejriwal because of AAP’s allegations of corruption in the DDCA.

The Union Finance Minister filed a criminal defamation complaint against Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders on December 21, 2015, for allegedly defaming him and sought their prosecution for offences that entail a punishment of up to two years in jail.

The complaint had referred to certain allegations made by the AAP leaders, including one claiming that the CBI had raided the office of a Delhi Government officer looking for Jaitley’s DDCA related files. (ANI)