Statements against Jaitley based on information from Kejriwal: Kumar Vishwas
(Sourced from PTI)
Dissident Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Kumar Vishwas today told Delhi High Court that his statements against Union Minister Arun Jaitley were based on information received as a party worker from his leader Arvind Kejriwal. Vishwas, who was present in person in court, told Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw that before making any statement/apology to Jaitley, he wants to know if Kejriwal lied earlier.
Jaitley lodged the defamation suit in December 2015 against Kejriwal and the five AAP leaders after they had alleged financial irregularities in Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) when the Union Minister was its president. The BJP leader had denied all the allegations.
The HC on April 26 asked Vishwas to be present in person to clarify whether he wanted to cross-examine Jaitley in the defamation suit. Vishwas is the only one against whom the suit remains after Kejriwal and four other AAP leaders, Raghav Chadha, Sanjay Singh, Ashutosh, and Deepak Bajpai, tendered an unequivocal apology to Jaitley in the Rs. 10cr defamation suit filed against them.
Advocate Manik Dogra, appearing for Jaitley, refused to accept the stand of Vishwas that he towed the line of his party leader, saying that he too had in past claimed to have seen documents while making the allegations. "He (Vishwas) cannot now say he was parroting what the others said," Dogra said, adding that he too must apologize unequivocally as the others had done.
When asked by the judge whether he had any problem in apologizing, Vishwas, who addressed the court in Hindi, said he regretted the damage and injury caused to Jaitley, but needed more time to decide what statement he can make to dispose of the suit. Taking note of his request, the court listed the matter for further hearing on May 28.
The dissident AAP leader said that Kejriwal and others decided to apologize without including him in the decision-making process. He also said that his queries to them, subsequent to their apology, have remained unanswered. The high court had on April 3 closed the defamation suit against the Delhi Chief Minister and the four AAP leaders after a joint settlement plea was moved before it.