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Delhi HC to hear Jethmalani's plea against expulsion from BJP in May

Delhi HC to hear Jethmalani's plea against expulsion from BJP in May

<p>The Delhi High Court on Thursday fixed May 2 as the date for hearing plea of noted criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani challenging his expulsion from primary membership of BJP on charges of "breach of discipline".</p>

The Delhi High Court on Thursday fixed May 2 as the date for hearing plea of noted criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani challenging his expulsion from primary membership of BJP on charges of "breach of discipline".

The hearing on the law suit of Jethmalani, 89, was deferred after Joint Registrar Brijesh Kumar Garg of the High Court was informed that the report, regarding the service of notices on BJP Parliamentary board members, has not been received. Earlier, the court had asked BJP and its Parliamentary Board members to respond by January 30 to the plea of the former Law Minister against his expulsion from the party.

Ashok Arora, appearing for Jethmalani, had said there were many other aspirants in the party for the post of Prime Ministerial candidate and because of his client, who was supporting Narendra Modi, they could not succeed and were aggrieved. "Being aggrieved of my strong support to Modi, they (board members) had issued statements against me in media and other public fora," the lawyer had said.

The Joint Registrar had asked Jethmalani's counsel to try to reconcile the issue with the party. In his suit for damages of Rs 50 lakh from the BJP Parliamentary Board members, except veteran BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee and BJP's PM candidate Modi, Jethmalani has sought the court to declare the Board's decision as "null and void".

Though Jethmalani has made Vajpayee and Modi as parties to the plea, he has not sought any damages from them. He has also challenged the show cause notice issued to him on November 26, 2012 by the party, saying it was an "attempt to damage" his "reputation".

Jethmalani, who had been critical of the BJP leadership and had revolted against then party chief Nitin Gadkari, was expelled from the primary membership of the party for six years on May 28 last year on charges of "breach of discipline".

first published:January 30, 2014, 19:31 IST