Jaitley files libel case against Kejriwal

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley arrives at Patiala House Court. Photo: V. Sudershan.  

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley mounted a strong defence of his conduct in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) affairs both in and outside Parliament on Monday. He did so even as his party MP Kirti Azad persisted in demanding a time-bound Special Investigating Team (SIT) or CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the cricket body during Mr. Jaitley’s tenure.

He spoke in his defence in the Lok Sabha and filed a criminal defamation case against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five others at Delhi’s Patiala House court, where he declared through his lawyer Siddharth Luthra that he had not taken “a single penny from the DDCA in his entire tenure.” Separately, in the Delhi High Court, he sought damages worth Rs. 10 crore from Mr. Kejriwal.

Kejriwal unfazed

The Chief Minister asked Mr. Jaitley not to “scare” him. “Our battle against corruption will go on,” Mr. Kejriwal tweeted as the Congress demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the ‘scam’ and Mr. Jaitley’s resignation. He also asked Mr. Jaitley to cooperate with a commission of inquiry set up by the Delhi government.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi responded rather cryptically to allegations that she had met Mr. Kirti Azad in order to bait Mr. Jaitley. Kya har cheez ke liye Sonia Gandhi doshi hai? [Is Sonia Gandhi to be held responsible for everything],” she asked.

The Minister had earlier made a statement in Parliament in response to Congress MP K.C. Venugopal’s contention that there were “gross irregularities” in the DDCA when Mr. Jaitley headed it.

Mr. Venugopal alleged that construction work at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium had cost Rs. 114 crore against the estimate of Rs. 24 crore and alleged that it was a “forced escalation” and “there was no record” of tenders in many cases. Rather, embarrassingly for the BJP, he referred to the “solid evidence” Mr. Kirti Azad presented on Sunday.

Mr. Jaitley gave a detailed account of the expenditure incurred for building the stadium. “Delhi did not have a stadium and the DDCA proposed two measures to raise money as the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s infrastructure subsidy was limited to Rs. 4 crore. The DDCA raised Rs. 35 crore by selling advance tickets of corporate boxes and signages, and by the time the money was raised, the BCCI also hiked the subsidy to Rs. 50 crore as it had begun earning more money. So we decided to rebuild the entire stadium,” he said.

He said a public sector undertaking, EPIL, carried out the civil works costing Rs. 57-58 crore and 43 other works were given to those which were predominantly their sub-contractors. No SFIO probe said excess expenditure was incurred, Mr. Jaitley said.

Mr. Kirti Azad, despite calls for him to sit down by his party MPs supportive of Mr. Jaitley, said the Congress should ask for a “time-bound” probe into the matter.

After the statement in Parliament, Mr. Jaitley, with a phalanx of supporters, including Union Ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Smriti Irani, Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Radhan, Rajyavardhan Rathore and J.P. Nadda, went to the Patiala House court to file the defamation suit against Mr. Kejriwal, Ashutosh, Raghav Chadha, Sanjay Singh, Kumar Vishwas and Deepak Bajpayee.

The case will come up for hearing on January 5.

( With additional reporting by Mohammad Iqbal and Nirnimesh Kumar)

Modi is a coward and a psyhcopath... When Modi couldn't handle me politically, he resorts to this cowardice.

Mr. Kejriwal seems to believe in untruth and defamation, delivered in a language that borders on hysteria.

Don’t go by rumours that I have been gagged, my fight is against corruption in sports and it shall continue

CBI raids the Delhi CM ‘s office.

A Central Bureau of Investigation raid on the secretariat of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday morning triggered a political storm, with a united opposition accusing the Narendra Modi government of political vendetta using the CBI. Following the raid, the Delhi CM was locked out of his office for the day. Read more

Kejriwal takes to Twitter

Parliament disrupted

Parliament saw an uproar over the raid on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's office, with Opposition parties rallying behind the AAP leader. Rajya Sabha was adjourned after uproar over CBI raids at Delhi Secretariat. Read more

Government responds

Centre said the raids were conducted on Mr. Kejriwal's Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar who has been named as an accused in a corruption case.

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar reacts to the Delhi raids (watch)

Who is Rajendra Kumar?

  • » Principal Secretary of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.
  • » An Indian Administrative Service (IAS) official belonging to the 1989 batch of the Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre.
  • » The Hindu has learnt that Mr. Kejriwal had first received a complaint alleging that Mr. Kumar was involved in graft from international anti-graft watchdog Transparency International India on May 27, 2015.

Kejriwal names Jaitley

On December 15th evening, Mr. Kejriwal organised a press conference during which he claimed the CBI sleuths were looking for files pertaining to the DDCA scam.

The real purpose of the CBI raid in his office was to spirit away a file in which Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was the central figure in a scam pertaining to the Delhi and District Cricket Association, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has alleged.

“Which file was CBI looking for in my office? DDCA files in which Arun Jaitley is in dock. I was about to order a commission of enquiry,” he later tweeted.

More ‘Evidence’

Terming the alleged DDCA scam as the 'Commonwealth Games Scam of Cricket,' AAP held a press conference to 'expose' the alleged massive corruption in DDCA, when it was headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Read more

Jaitley’s response

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley accused Kejriwal of spreading “false propaganda”, saying he seems to believe in untruth and defamation and delivers a language that borders on hysteria.

By referring to some facts of 2014 and 2015, Mr. Kejriwal cannot drag him in the Delhi cricket body case as he left cricket administration in 2013, he said. Read more


  • What - The AAP alleged huge financial irregularities in DDCA during Arun Jaitley’s 13 year-old tenure as its chief, saying large amounts were siphoned off through fake companies besides other irregularities including in team selection.
  • When - BJP MP and former cricketer Kirti Azad had earlier in 2014 alleged irregularities in the functioning of DDCA. The Delhi government had set up a committee to inquire the alleged DDCA scam after they received several complaints.
  • Who - The AAP is demanding an investigation against Mr. Jaitley and other office-bearers of the DDCA. Mr. Jaitley was the patron-in-chief of the DDCA until December 2014.
  • Then - Delhi's ruling party alleged that the CBI raid on Arvind Kejriwal's top officer Rajendra Kumar was linked to a DDCA file in the Chief Minister's office.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 11:06:44 AM |

Next Story