Delhi's Patiala House court on Saturday framed notice against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in a defamation case filed by finance minister Arun Jaitley after the former reportedly accused him of financial irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association of which he was the president for about 13 years till 2013.
The city court also framed charges against five other AAP leaders in the case after they pleaded not guilty. All the six AAP leaders have claimed trial in the case.
During the hearing, heated arguments were witnessed during which Jaitley alleged that that the six accused made false allegations against him for political gains and in the process caused irreversibly harm to his reputation.
The next hearing in the case will take place on May 20.
Earlier, Jaitley had also appeared before the Delhi high court for hearing on March 6 and 7 where he was grilled by jurist Ram Jethmalani in connection with the case he had filed against Kejriwal and five other Aam Aadmi Party leaders including Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai.
During the proceedings which lasted nearly two hours in a packed court room of Joint Registrar Amit Kumar on March 7, a variety of questions including allegations made against him by veteran cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi were put to the finance minister.
Jaitley had refuted the allegations of financial bungling in DDCA, saying "a letter of Mr Bedi was written in 2015 and I had left the post of President in DDCA in 2013." "I strongly deny the contents of this letter in so far it pertains to me... To the best of my knowledge, the contents of the letter are untrue in so far as it relates to my tenure in DDCA," Jaitley said after going through the letter which was shown to him.
During the cross-examination which was full of drama, lawyers of both sides opposed various questions and answers and Jaitley's counsel - senior advocates Rajiv Nayar, Sandeep Sethi and Pratibha M Singh - termed some of them "scandalous". The finance minister, who was put several controversial questions by Jethmalani, maintained calm and said: "Mr Kejriwal has committed a serious act of libel through his malicious falsehood. Alleging that my wife and daughter are linked to fake companies was not only false but taking the public discourse to a very low level."
(With inputs from PTI)