High Court allows Jaitley-Kejriwal to close defamation cases

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Published on 3 April 2018 11:50 AM GMT

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday accepted a joint application by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seeking to withdraw two civil defamation cases.

A city court also allowed their application to close another criminal defamation case.

The application was moved in the high court after Kejriwal apologised to Jaitley and his family members for accusing the Minister of corruption during his 13-year stint at the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).

Four other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders -- Sanjay Singh, Ashutosh, Deepak Bajpai and Raghav Chadha -- also apologised to Jaitley.

Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw allowed the joint application of Jaitley, Kejriwal and four other AAP leaders observing that they have settled the issues among them.

However, Jaitley's counsel told the court that the sixth accused "Kumar Vishwas had not tendered any apology till now and he will pursue the matter against him".

The court said it will continue hearing the matter against Vishwas and listed it for April 26 for further hearing.

In his letter, Kejriwal said his allegations were based on information and papers furnished by certain individuals who represented to have first-hand insight into the DDCA's affairs but had "recently discovered that the information and the imputations contained therein are unfounded and unwarranted and I was clearly misinformed into making these allegations".

Jaitley had asked for Rs 10 crore in damages.

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The BJP leader had filed a second civil defamation case last year after Kejriwal's then lawyer Ram Jethmalani used a slur while cross-examining him and said the term had been authorised by his client.

Kejriwal said he did not approve of Jethmalani's "disparaging and malicious" remarks against Jaitley.

Earlier on Tuesday, another bench of Justice Manmohan allowed the application filed by Jaitley and Kejriwal. Both of them said the issues has been settled among them.

The joint application read: "Kejriwal and others have individually tendered an unqualified apology to the plaintiff (Jaitley).

"Each of the defendants (AAP leaders) have unequivocally withdrawn all the allegations made by him in print, electronic or social media against the complainant (Jaitley) and his family members.

"The complainant (Jaitley) has accepted the apology."

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal also allowed the pleas seeking to close the criminal defamation case.

Kejriwal earlier apologised to Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia for alleging his involvement in the drug trade. Days later, he apologised to BJP leader and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Congress leader Kapil Sibal and his son Amit over separate issues.

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