Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal today claimed that the civil defamation suit filed against him and five other AAP leaders by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the DDCA row was “a classic instance of political vendetta” with a view to “harassing” them and curbing their right to free speech.
“The present suit is a classic instance of political vendetta which the plaintiff is seeking to wreak on the defendants for having sought to speak up against the malaise of corruption and maladministration,” Kejriwal said in his written statement to the notice issued by the High Court on Jaitley’s suit.
He has contended that the suit was filed with the “malafide intention” of “coercing, pressuring and harassing” him and other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders “from exercising their right of free speech and expression”.
The Chief Minister has claimed that by filing the suit, Jaitley has attempted to “browbeat the defendants (Kejriwal and others) into silence and dissuade them from drawing attention to the mismanagement and rampant financial irregularities plaguing the DDCA and from inviting scrutiny into the manner of functioning of the said association.”
The High Court on December 22 last year had sought the response of Kejriwal, Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai—on a civil defamation suit by Jaitley seeking Rs 10 crore in damages from them for issuing allegedly false and defamatory statements against him and his family.
Chadha has also filed his response to the notice and when contacted said that he and the Chief Minister have a similar stand.