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Don’t try to intimidate us: AAP hits back at Jaitley on defamation suit

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New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday hit back at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hours after the BJP leader filed a Rs 10 crore civil defamation suit against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other top party leaders for levelling “baseless” allegations of corruption in DDCA, warning him that they “are here to eradicate corruption, don’t try to intimidate us.”

This comes hours after Kejriwal said that the Delhi government had resolved to set up a commission of inquiry into the alleged DDCA scam.

Jaitley has sought Rs 10 crore damages from the AAP leaders – who have demanded the Finance Minister’s resignation – for making “false” statements against him over alleged irregularities in the DDCA which he headed for 13 years till 2013.

“It is unfortunate for the country that the people who should be doing government work are coming to register a case. Arun Jaitley did not need to take money from DDCA as he was getting money from the back door. Jaitley still hasn’t replied to my five charges. We are people who are here to eradicate corruption, don’t try to intimidate us,” AAP leader and former journalist Ashutosh said.

Another party leader Sanjay Singh slammed the cabinet ministers for rushing to court “to defend corrupt Arun Jaitley”.

Today many cabinet ministers left government work to go to court to defend corrupt Arun Jaitley. He can fight by any means. We won’t stop exposing the corruption that has been going on for 15 years. They cannot scare us. Kirti Azad has been raising his voice against Jaitley for 8 years, but that voice has always been suppressed. We are setting up a commission of inquiry under Gopal Subramanium,” AAP leader Sanjay Singh said.

Jaitley – flanked by top ministers like Venkaiah Naidu, Smriti Irani and Piyush Goyal – went to the Patiala House Court where he filed the suit. Jaitley told the court that he did not take a “single penny” from the cricket body.

The court took cognizance of the FM’s complaint and scheduled the next hearing in the case for January 5.

This comes as BJP MP Kirti Azad – who has alleged massive financial irregularities in Delhi’s cricket board – called for a CBI inquiry in the scam in the Lok Sabha and also dared Jaitley to sue him.

Defending Jaitley, Union Miniter Nirmala Sitharaman said outside the court, “The charges are baseless. We will fight this in the Courts and discuss it in Parliament also.”

Union Minister JP Nadda said that the BJP leaders were present at the court “to support Jaitley, who has had a clean life and has helped the poor.”

Kejriwal has demanded Jaitley must resign or be removed from his post as union finance minister to enable an independent probe into DDCA matters. The city government has reportedly ordered a probe into the DDCA’s working.

Jaitley made a statement in the Lok Sabha amid protests by Congress MPs on Monday, saying that “All these allegations of corruption in DDCA are baseless and devoid of truth.”

The Finance Minister told the House that under his leadership in just Rs 114 crore, a stadium of 42,000 capacity was made. However, when Congress was in power, the 14,000 capacity Jawahar Lal Nehru (JLN) stadium was renovated for around Rs 900 crore, he claimed.

As Jaitley was making the statement, the Congress MPs continued to raise slogans and disrupting him.

An exasperated Jaitley apparently screamed at the Congress lawmakers asking them to “sit down”.

“Please sit down. Facts will be extremely inconvenient,” he said.

Taking a dig at Jaitley, Kiriti Azad said in Lok Sabha, “Yes the stadium was made in 114 crore, but we know what the condition of the stadium is right now.”

Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 2 pm following the uproar over DDCA scam.

Addressing the media on Sunday with former player Bishan Singh Bedi, Azad sought an investigation by the Enforcement Directorate into the working of the DDCA. (With inputs from agencies; image: Jagran.com)

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Saw AAP MLAs Assaulting Chief Secretary, CM’s Advisor Tells Police

The AAP defended by stating that Jain had initially told police that he did not witness any assault and police has threatened Jain to change his statement

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The AAP had denied the charges of assault and said that the Chief Secretary was making allegations at the behest of the BJP. Wikimedia Commons

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s adviser V. K. Jain on Thursday told police that he saw AAP MLAs Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal “physically assaulting” Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash, according to Jain’s statement recorded by the Delhi Police.

The AAP defended by stating that Jain had initially told police that he did not witness any assault and police has threatened Jain to change his statement.

On Tuesday, the Chief Secretary had alleged that he was beaten up by the two AAP MLAs in the presence of Kejriwal at the Chief Minister’s residence on Monday night, where he had been called for an emergency meeting.

ALSO READ: The assault on Chief Secretary exposes the double standards of AAP government

Police later arrested Khan and Jarwal and they were sent to judicial custody till Thursday.

According to the Chief Secretary, the Chief Minister’s adviser had called him over the phone and asked him to come to the Chief Minister’s residence for the meeting and Jain was also present there.

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According to the statement, Jain also saw that the Chief Secretary’s spectacles had fallen to the ground and the Chief Secretary picked them up and left the room. Wikimedia Commons

On Thursday, the Delhi Police submitted Jain’s statement at a city court, which said that Jain had gone to the washroom during the meeting and as he came out he saw the two AAP MLAs “physically assaulting” the Chief Secretary.

The statement was recorded under Section 161 of the CrPC, which means that it was recorded in front of the police and not a magistrate.

Sources told IANS that Jain later recorded his statement in front of a magistrate under section 164 of the CrPC.

“The statement under section 164 was later recorded with the magistrate in front a camera, without the presence of police. In that statement also he (Jain) has said that he saw the two MLAs physically assaulting the Chief Secretary,” a police officer privy to the case told IANS.

The officer said that the statement under section 164 has also been submitted to the court.

Jain was first questioned on Wednesday morning and then again on Thursday and his statement was recorded on Thursday.

The change in Jain’s statement that the AAP was referring to was from a “question and answer” with Jain recorded by police after questioning him on Wednesday.

According to a copy of Wednesday’s “question and answer” recorded by police, when asked whether Jain saw the Chief Secretary being manhandled, he replied that he had gone to the washroom in between the meeting and he could not say what happened during that time.

“By putting pressure on him (Jain) throughout the day (Thursday) and by threatening him, police has forced him to change his statement,” AAP MP Sanjay Singh told the media here on Thursday.

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Singh said that the whole issue was a conspiracy to “bring down the Delhi government” and to “defame the AAP”. Wikimedia Commons

 

“How is it that the same Jain who emphatically said yesterday that he witnessed no assault during the entire time that he was present there has now claimed otherwise?” he asked.

Singh said that AAP MLAs were being arrested over an alleged assault of which there was no proof.

“But on the other hand, despite there being video footage of officials assaulting Delhi Cabinet Minister Imran Hussain, there is no action taken against the guilty by the Delhi Police,” the AAP MP said.

The court on Thursday sent the two AAP MLAs, arrested on charges of assaulting the Chief Secretary, to judicial custody for 14 days.

ALSO READ: Delhi Chief Secretary row: AAP MLA arrested

Orders on the bail pleas of the two AAP MLAs and also on their police custody will be pronounced on Friday.

Meanwhile, scores of Delhi government employees across the city observed a five-minute silence outside their respective offices as a protest against the alleged assault on the Chief Secretary.

The IAS Association said that officers would continue the protest every day, till steps are taken to “ensure safety and dignity” of government staff in the city.

The AAP also hit out at Lt Governor Anil Baijal by stating that he was “working as a BJP agent” and demanded action against those involved in “manhandling and beating up” Hussain and his aide at the Delhi Secretariat on Tuesday. (IANS)