Kejriwal buries the hatchet with Jaitley, settles defamation suit

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: Delhi chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses the media during a press conference, Jan 30, 2018.  PTI

File photo of Delhi chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. PTI

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has tendered an apology to union minister Arun Jaitley, to settle the two-year-old defamation suit filed by Jaitley.

A joint plea was moved by Jaitley and Kejriwal in Delhi High Court to “settle” the matter on Monday.

Kejriwal’s apology is not surprising as he has already apologised to several others, who had filed defamation suits and complaints against him.

The joint application was mentioned before Justice Manmohan by advocates Manik Dogra and Anupam Srivastava, who appeared for Jaitley and Kejriwal, respectively.

The court agreed to list the matter for hearing before the appropriate bench tomorrow if no technical objection is raised by the registry.

Jaitley had in December 2015 filed a Rs 10 crore defamation suit against Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders– Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Sanjay Singh, Ashutosh and Deepak Bajpai.

AAP leaders had alleged financial irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) when Jaitley was its president.

On his part, the BJP leader had denied all allegations. He had also filed a separate Rs 10 crore defamation case against Kejriwal after his then lawyer, Ram Jethmalani, had used objectionable words against Jaitley during his cross-examination in the first suit.

File Photo of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

File Photo of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

According to the joint application, apart from Kejriwal, other AAP leaders — Chadha, Singh, Ashutosh and Bajpai — have “unequivocally” apologised for their statements against Jaitley in connection with irregularities in DDCA.

Vishwas has not yet tendered an apology and therefore, the proceedings shall continue against him.

Kejriwal also apologised for Jethmalani’s use of objectionable words against Jaitley during his cross-examination.

On February 20, Kejriwal had concluded his cross-examination of Jaitley in the first defamation suit.

The proceedings in the cross-examination was termed by the high court as “malicious” and “a sheer mockery”.

The cross examination of Jaitley by Kejriwal, which had begun in March 2017, ended on February 20 after more than 300 questions were put to the union minister over around 11 days.

The proceedings had also witnessed the High Court raising serious objections against the manner in which questions were being put to the BJP leader.

(With inputs from PTI)