Case Law Details

Case Name : Mr. Arun Jaitley Vs Mr. Arvind Keriwal & Ors. (Delhi High Court)
Appeal Number : CS (OS) No. 3457 of 2015
Date of Judgement/Order : 24/07/2017
Related Assessment Year :
Courts : All High Courts (3629) Delhi High Court (1146)

Extract of Reply Submitted by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi High Court in which he stated that  he never asked senior advocate Mr. Ram Jethmalani to pose objectionable questions to Mr. Arun Jaitley or use objectionable words while recording of evidence in the Rs. 10-crore defamation suit initiated by Mr. Arun Jaitley.

PRELIMINARY OBJECTIONS & SUBMISSIONS: 
1. That the present application is not maintainable as the proceedings before the Ld, Joint Registrar for recording of evidence are delegated by the original side rules of the Delhi High Court, therefore no cause of action can arise for any intercession by the delegator (Honorable High Court) in the proceedings going on before the delegate under the High Court rules. No order has been passed by the Joint Registrar which may occasion an interference as sought for by this Honorable Court vide this application. It is submitted that, Rule IV of the High Court Rules provides for an appeal but only against an order of the Joint Registrar, hence clearly the rules do not provide for moving an application of the present nature. Thus the present application is barred under the Rules and thus not maintainable and deserves to be dismissed with costs for abusing the process of this court. This reliefs sought for in the application cannot be granted in law.
2. That the perusal of the order sheet would reveal that the Defendants have never delayed the proceedings in the present suit and are cross- examining the Plaintiff. Without denying the fact that every litigation should be concluded at the earliest, it is submitted that in the garb of present application the Plaintiff cannot be permitted to scuttle the process of cross-examination. It is trite that, justice cannot be compromised for speed and in the present case shortest possible dates are being given by the Hon’ble Court. There are no special circumstances for making such a prayer.
3. That the present application is misconceived as the present suit is moving at a pace faster than most of the suits pending on the original side of Delhi High Court. It is submitted that the present suit was instituted on 21.12.2015, and within a span of 18tuonths of the inception of the suit, four (4) dates have been devoted to the cross examination of PW-1 and one date was devoted for the examination-in-chief of PW- l. A calendar of series of the proceedings in the suit in the tabular form, which is indicative of the speed of the suit is given herein below;
S.NO. DATE PARTICULARS
I. 21.12.2015 Plaint was filed/ Date of filing.
Ii. 12.01.2016 Written statement filed by Defendant No. 1 and Defendant No. 5. D-1’s Written Statement was not on record, the same was re filed on 08.02.2016.
Iiii. 19.01.2016 Written Statement filed by Defendant No.2 and 3
Iv. 19.01.2016 Written Statement filed by Defendant No.6
V. 03.02.2016 Rejoinder by Plaintiff.
vi. 08.04.2016 Admission Denial started on 15.03.2016, but the same was adjourned on the ground that certificate u/s 65-5 of the Indian Evidence Act was not filed by the Plaintiff.
Vii. 12.07.2016 Issues were framed by the Honorable Court
Viii. 12.07.2016 Additional Written Statement filed by Defendant No.1.
Ix. 28.09.2016 For fixing of the date of the trial. Date ‘fixed as 5 and 6 December 2016
X. 03.12.2016 Evidence filed by the Plaintiff
Xi. 05.12.2016 Copies were supplied to the D1, 4,and 6
Xii. 05.12.2016 Examination in Chief of PW- 1 recorded
Xiii. 06.03.2017 and 07.03.2017 Cross Examination of PW- 1.
Xiv. 15.05.2017 and 17.05.2017 Cross Examination of PW- 1.
Xv. 28.07.2017 and 31.07.2017 Next date of hearing for Cross Examination of PW- 1.
That the above dates indisputably reveal that the present matter is proceeding at a brisk speed and the present application is therefore nothing but an abuse of process of law.
4. That the answering defend~t has not, throughout the proceedings sought adjournment, or moved frivolous applications and challenged any order passed in the above-mentioned suit. The answering defendant has followed strict time frames in the suit proceedings, hence, Defendant no. 1 cannot be blamed for delaying the recording of the evidence especially when there has been no delay and the suit has been proceeding at break neck speed. The allegations contained in this paragraph are false and mischievous and have been made only to prejudice this Hon’ble Court.
5. That the Plaintiff is twisting the facts to make grounds for this application. It is submitted that, the briefing counsel of the Defendant No. 1 on 17.05.2017, did seek an adjournment, however it was done with a view to pacify the atmosphere, occurring due to unfortunate incidents on 17th May, 2017 before the Ld. Joint Registrar. It is submitted that, the matter was listed before the Court on 18.05.2017 for hearing of an application moved by Defendant No. 5. The said date did not concern the Defendant no. 1, therefore no appearance was made on behalf of Defendant no. 1. Further this date was not a regular date of hearing, hence except for the counsel for Defendant no. 5, the counsels for the other Defendants did not appear.
6. That the answering defendant has filed an a.A. against the decision of the Ld, Joint Registrar challenging the dis allowance of questions. put to PW-1 on 06.03.2017, 07.03.2017 and 15.05.2017, which is likely to be listed soon. It is therefore, submitted that till the time this Hon’ble Court adjudicates upon the relevance of the questions, not much importance can be given to the fact that certain questions have been disallowed.
7. That with due respect it is submitted that neither the answering defendant nor the counsel briefing the senior counsel gave instructions to the Ld, Senior counsel to use the objectionable words on 17.05.2017. It is submitted that the answering defendant vide letter dated 02.06.2017 instructed the counsel on record to remind the senior counsel that no such instructions were issued to him in his meeting with the defendant no. 1,which according to him took place in the absence of the Advocate on record. Further, the Advocate on record was also informed that the senior counsel has been conveyed orally and in writing in this regard.
The answering defendant vide letter dated 19.07.2017 has conveyed to the senior counsel directly that no instructions to use objectionable words like “crook” and “guilty of crimes and crookery” were ever given by him at any time of point to the learned Senior Counsel.
PARAGRAPH-WISE REPLY ON MERITS
1. That the contents of Para 1 are admitted to the extent that the Applicant/ Plaintiff has filed the above mentioned suit for damages against the Non- Applicant/Defendants for a sum of Rs. 10 Crores Only. It is submitted that the present suit is a frivolous one as the defendant never defamed the Plaintiff nor alleged any’ defamatory statements against him. It is further submitted that the answering defendant has filed a detailed written statement stating his version to the allegations contained in the Plaint. The contents of the written statement may be read as part and parcel of the paragraph under reply and the same is not being reproduced for the sake of brevity.
2. That the contents of Paragraph 2 are a matter of record and hence merit no reel.
3. That the contents of Paragraph 3 are wrong and hence denied. It is submitted that answering defendant has filed an O.A against the orders of the l.d, Joint Registrar for disallowing certain questions. Till the time this Hon’ble Court does not decide the O.A., the issue of relevance of questions will not prejudice the answering defendant.
It is submitted that the counsel on record had categorically stated before the Registrar that no instructions were given by the Defendant No. 1 to use objectionable words as used by the learned Senior Counsel. It is further submitted that the answering defendant has clarified his position by writing separate letters to the advocate on record and the senior counsel, as has already been clarified in the preceding paragraphs.
It is further denied that the questions are clearly designed to insult and/ or annoy the Applicant/Plaintiff. It is denied that these questions/ statements have no relevance with either the dispute in question or the issues framed by this Hon’ble Court.It is inconceivable that the Defendant no. 1 would even think of instructing the Senior Counsel to use such objectionable words.
4. That.the contents of Para 4 are denied with respect to the allegations that the dis allowance of questions itself proves that the attitude and intention of the defendants is ex facie malafide and questions have been asked to delay the conclusion of the evidence. That the contents of the  Preliminary I Objections and Submissions be read as an integral part of the instant reply and the same is not being reproduced for the sake of brevity.
5. That the contents of Para 5 are wrong and hence denied. It is categorically denied that during the cross examination on 17.05.2017, the Senior counsel for the defendant no.I was instructed to use abusive and offensive words which are per se defamatory words against the applicant/ Plaintiff. The contents of the preceding paragraph and preliminary objections and submissions-be may read as part of this paragraph under reply and the same is not being reproduced for the sake of brevity.
6. That in reply to contents of Para 6 of the application it is submitted that it is not only the Plaintiff/ Applicant, but also the defendants/non-applicants who have submitted themselves to the majesty and jurisdiction of this Hon’ble Court.
7. That the contents of Para 7 are wrong and denied. It is denied that the counsel representing the Defendant No. 1 clearly attempted to browbeat, overawe and intimidate the Ld. Joint Registrar who was recording the evidence. Nothing as sought to be stated by the Plaintiff has been recorded in the order-sheet and that these allegations are simply assumptions of the applicant sans factual foundation.
It is submitted that the Defendant No.1 instituted ‘an G.A. challenging the order of the Learned Joint Registrar dis allowing the questions to plaintiff on 06.03.2017, 07.03.2017, 15.05.2017 and 17.05.2017. The contents of the Preliminary Objections and Submissions of this reply be read as part of the paragraph under reply and the same is not being reproduced for the sake of brevity.
8. That the contents of Para 8 are wrong and hence denied. It is submitted that the defendant no. 1 is not at all attempting to delay the trial in the present suit. It is further denied that he has made a mockery of the evidence proceedings before this Hon’ble Court. It is submitted that the present suit is moving at a pace much faster than most of the suits on the original-side of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court.
That the contents of the Preliminary Objections and Submissions be read as part of the paragraph under reply and the same is not being reproduced for the sake of brevity.
9. The contents of the paragraph 9 are denied. It is submitted that the facts are being contorted to merely to make out some grounds for moving this application. It is submitted that the briefing counsel of the Defendant No. 1 on 17.05.2017, did seek an adjournment, however it was done with a view to pacify the atmosphere occurring due to unfortunate heated exchanges between Mr. Ram Jethmalani & Mr. Arun Jaitley on 17th May, 2010 before the Ld, Joint Registrar. It is submitted that the matter was listed before the Court on 18.05.2017 for hearing of an application moved by Defendant No.5. Since that date was not a regular date of hearing, none were present on behalf of defendants other than defendant no. 5 before Court on the said date.
10. That the contents of Para 10 are vehemently denied. No such directions as sought for can be given by this Hon’ble Court under the O.S. Rules of the High Court.
11. That the contents of Para 11 are denied. It is denied that the present application is bonafide. It is submitted that the Plaintiff by way of this application is seeking to limit the right of the defendants to cross examine the PW- 1. It is submitted that none of the reliefs as claimed by the applicant can be granted by this Hon’ble Court.
That in the facts and circumstances as stated above it is prayed that this Hon’ble Court be pleased to:
a). Dismiss the above-mentioned application of the Plaintiff;
b). Pass such order/orders that this Hon’ble Court may deem fit and proper.
AFFIDAVIT OF SHRI ARVIND KEJRIWAL S/O SH. G R KEJRIWAL, AGED) ABOUT 48 YEARS, R/O 6 FLAG STAFF ROAD CIVIL LINES, DELHI
I, Arvind Kejriwal, the above-named deponent, do hereby solemnly affirm and declare on oath, as under:
1) That I say that I am the Defendant No. 1 in the above-mentioned suit and am well conversant with the facts and circumstances of the present case. Hence, I am competent to swear this Affidavit.
That the accompanying reply to Application has been drafted under my instructions and the contents thereof except the legal averments contained therein, are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and information, The legal averments contained therein are true and correct on the basis of the legal advice, received by me and believed by me to be true and correct. The contents of the accompanying reply to Application may kindly be read as part of this Affidavit and the same are not being repeated herein for the sake of brevity and to avoid prolixity.
VERIFICATION
Arvind Kejriwal, do hereby on solemn affirmation verify that the contents of the present Affidavit have been read by me and I have understood the same and the contents of the same are true and correct to my knowledge and belief and no part of it is false and no material facts have been concealed therefrom
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