New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Friday decided to transfer the ongoing cross-examination of Arun Jaitley before the joint registrar to a court in a defamation suit filed by him against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal and five other party leaders.
Expressing a view that any matter, including the present one, should be conducted fairly and in time-bound and speedy manner, justice Manmohan said the cross examination of the finance minister be done by a single judge of the high court.
He further said now the joint registrar’s order directing Kejriwal to conclude Jaitley’s cross-examination on 12 February becomes infructuous as now the court will decide the date and the relevancy of questions put to the Union minister.
The court has fixed the matter for 12 February before justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw for Jaitley’s further cross- examination. The court agreed to delegate the cross-examination of the BJP leader to the single judge after the counsel for the Jaitley and Kejriwal agreed to it.
“I agree to transfer this suit for cross-examination before a court. Lets be practical and allow trial to go on. There are even orders of this court to conduct the matter in a fair, time-bound and speedy manner. Now let the court decide whether to allow or disallow the questions. Lets put an end to it as it is going in a wrong direction," Justice Manmohan said.
The court’s direction came during hearing of Kejriwal’s appeal against joint registrar’s 2 February order directing him to conclude the cross-examination on 12 February itself. Jaitley was being cross-examined by Kejriwal’s counsel in his Rs10 crore defamation suit filed in wake of allegations of financial irregularities against him in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) of which he was the president from 1999 to 2013.
Jaitley has filed the defamation suit against Kejriwal and AAP leaders Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai for accusing him of the irregularities and has denied all the allegations.