The Delhi high court on Wednesday sought Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's response on a plea seeking action against him for allegedly filing a false affidavit that he had not instructed his counsel to use derogatory words against Union minister Arun Jaitley.
Justice Manmohan issued notice to Kejriwal and sought his response within four weeks. He listed the matter for December 11.
Jaitley has filed a Rs 10 crore defamation suit against Kejriwal and five other Aam Aadmi Party leaders.
He said in a fresh application that Kejriwal had filed a reply denying that he had instructed his senior lawyer to make derogatory comments. However, this was opposed by his former counsel Ram Jethmalani two days later.
Senior advocates Rajiv Nayar and Sandeep Sethi, appearing for the Union finance minister, urged the court to allow them to file a criminal complaint against Kejriwal for making a false statement and filing a false affidavit.
During the cross examination on May 17, Kejriwal's then counsel Jethmalani had used offensive words against Jaitley.
Jethmalani had categorically stated in court that he had received a specific instruction from Kejriwal to use a derogatory word against the Union minister.
The application filed through advocate Manik Dogra stated that Jethmalani, in an interview to the media on July 26, reiterated his earlier statement that he had instructions from Kejriwal to use the words.
In his application, Jaitley said that on July 28, Jethmalani had written a letter to Kejriwal. He copied it to the Union minister stating he had not received a reply from the chief minister on his July 20 letter.
According to the application, in the July 20 letter to Kejriwal, who had denied instructing the senior advocate to use derogatory words against Jaitley in court, Jethmalani had said "ask your (Kejriwal) conscience how many times you used the word..."
Seeking strict action against Kejriwal for allegedly stating false facts, Jaitley's plea said, "A blatant, false and dishonest statement under oath by such a high functionary must attract severe and stringent punishment."
"Committing perjury before this court by making false averments in pleadings is squarely covered under provisions of section 340 of CrPC and the defendant (Kejriwal) deserves to be punished in accordance with law," it said.
The high court had on July 26 asked Kejriwal not to put "scandalous" questions to Jaitley during the cross-examination in the defamation suit filed by the Union minister against the chief minister and five others -- Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai.
The court had deferred the cross-examination of Jaitley from July 28 to August 28 after Kejriwal's counsel sought time.
The first Rs 10 crore defamation suit was filed by Jaitley against Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders in 2015. The second Rs 10 crore defamation suit was filed on May 22 this year only against the chief minister.
Jaitley, who denied all the allegations of corruption levelled by the AAP leaders in December 2015, had claimed that they had made "false and defamatory" statements in the case involving the DDCA, thereby harming his reputation.
The cross-examination of Jaitley by Jethmalani on May 17 led to heated exchanges between them.
Kejriwal had on July 24 told the high court that there was no instruction from him to Jethmalani to use objectionable remarks against Jaitley.