The Delhi High Court on Tuesday disposed of two defamation suits that Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had filed against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, PTI reported.
Five Aam Aadmi Party leaders, including Kejriwal, had apologised to Jaitley on Sunday. In separate letters dated April 1, Kejriwal, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai offered their “sincere apology” to Jaitley and his family members “for any harm caused to your reputation”. Jaitley accepted the apology and agreed to settle the matter, after which the two leaders filed a joint settlement application in the two cases.
The court, however, told AAP rebel leader Kumar Vishwas that the case against him would continue if he does not file his reply by April 26, when the case will be again heard. Vishwas has not yet offered to settle the matter with Jaitley.
Jaitley filed a civil defamation case in 2017 after Kejriwal’s lawyer Ram Jethmalani used defamatory language when speaking about him in court during the hearing of a criminal defamation suit that the finance minister had registered in 2015. In both the lawsuits, Jaitley had sought Rs 10 crore in damages.
The original criminal defamation suit was filed after the AAP leaders accused Jaitley of corruption during his 13-year tenure as the head of the Delhi and District Cricket Association, which ended in 2013.
The AAP leaders have said their apology to Jaitley is part of Kejriwal’s decision to “refocus” his time and energy on governance. The party said it was going to apologise to several people as it is facing dozens of defamation cases in court. Kejriwal earlier apologised to Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, and Congress leader Kapil Sibal.