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Arun Jaitley vs Arvind Kejriwal in court: Will the AAP chief fight the defamation case or apologise again?
The CBI raid at the office of Mr. Rajender Kumar, Principal Secretary to CM Kejriwal, a few days ago against corruption charges turned ugly as the matters unfold. Kejriwal labeled PM Modi as a coward and psychopath as he alleged that it was PMO who ordered CBI to conduct the raid just to demean AAP government.
When the nation strongly reacted to his derogatory adjectives to describe PM Modi, Kejriwal, instead of apologizing, shifted his attention to target Union finance minister, Arun Jaitley in an old case of alleged corruption in DDCA under Mr. Jaitley as president in the past.

A press conference was called by AAP leaders and they alleged Jaitley's involvement in the corruption in the said case. AAP leader Ashutosh went a step further by describing Jaitley as 'Kalmadi of BJP'. Notably Suresh Kalmadi, the Congress leader, is the main accuse in the multi crore 2010 Commonwealth Games scam while he was the president of Indian Olympic Association.

The AAP government on Sunday 20th December ordered a commission of inquiry under Gopal Subramaniam to probe alleged irregularities in the DDCA. Whether AAP government has the power to order such inquiry is debatable. According to sources, the Delhi government doesn't have the power to order a commission of inquiry as it vests with the Centre.

Also, since DDCA was registered as a company under the Companies Act, its matters come under the Registrar of Companies. DDCA has leased the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and so it is answerable also to the Union Urban Development Ministry.

Union finance minister, Arun Jaitley yesterday filed a defamation suit in the Patiala House court against AAP leaders Arvind Kejriwal, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha, Ashutosh and Deepak Vajpayee seeking Rs. 10 crore in damage for indulging in slander and baseless allegations against him over alleged irregularities in the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA).

The name of Kirti Azad, BJP MP, who did a press conference day before yesterday showing a WikiLeaks CD detailing irregularities in DDCA is missing in the defamation suit contrary to the speculations yesterday. Azad mentioned that there have been financial irregularities amounting to corruption in DDCA under Mr. Jaitley as president of DDCA spanning over almost 14 years.

Jaitley also filed a criminal defamation complaint against them in the Patiala House court seeking their prosecution under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code which says 'Whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both'.

Defamation is a criminal or civil charge encompassing both written statements, known as libel, and spoken statements, called slander. In order to justify a charge under Section 500 of IPC, it is required that the allegations satisfy requirement of Section 499, which defines defamation as 'whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter expected, to defame that person' and also the explanations appended thereto.

It is worthwhile to note what happened in Singapore a week back.

Blogger Roy Ngerng was asked to pay US$ 106,000 (close to Rs. 70 lakhs) to Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for defaming him through his blogs and suggesting the premier criminally misappropriated the country's pension fund savings.

The blogger had apologized twice earlier and offered Singapore $10,000 as compensation, but it was not agreed by the Singapore PM.

In the past, Singapore Democratic Party leader Chee Soon Juan was bankrupted in 2006 after failing to pay in full Singapore $500,000 in damages for defaming former Prime Ministers Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong. The late opposition leader Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam was declared bankrupt over libel damages.

In India, we are yet to see such results in defamation cases. Every now and then someone ridicules or defames political leaders without accountability. Law is there in our country as well, only we need to see how effective it is. Most of the times the defamation cases end with mutual agreement or tendering an apology.

Kejriwal is notorious for making baseless allegations and then taking a U-turn when things go out of control. He even had to go to jail for defaming Nitin Gadkari. Later he furnished the bail bond and apologized to Gadkari to get out of the court case. It seems that Kejriwal has not learnt anything. Despite the CM of a state, he has not come out of his persona of 'activist' which is creating problems for him.

The DDCA case was already investigated by SFIO during UPA tenure and no fraud or corruption was established except some procedural lapses and technical issues. Kejriwal was ill advised to rake up this issue as a response to the CBI raid.

Arun Jaitley had a blemish free 40 years of political career. When his reputation is at a stake, he has every right to fight for it. In the defamation case of Singapore PM, the high court of Singapore made a cogent observation.

"Reputation is a priceless asset that takes years of effort to build," Singapore High Court Justice Lee Seiu Kin said in a ruling, "The defamation of public leaders has thus been taken seriously by the courts."

I think someone should also file a defamation case on behalf of PM Modi against Kejriwal's psychopath and coward remark and demand compensation to the tune of Rs. 100 crores.

Kejriwal will never learn unless he faces music for his reckless behaviors and statements. A defamation case followed by jail or huge monetary penalty will surely teach him a lesson and put a lid on the motor mouths of AAP.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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