AAP Supremo Arvind Kejriwal’s apology lead to closure of defamation suit by Delhi HC

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tendered his apology to Union Minister and BJP leader Arun Jaitley which brought closure to the Rs. 10 crore defamation suit filed against him by Mr. Jaitley.

Facts of the case

In December 2015 Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had filed a civil defamation suit against Arvind Kejriwal and AAP leaders Sanjay Singh, Deepak Bajpai, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh and Raghav Chadha. AAP leaders had accused the BJP leader of corruption in DDCA (Delhi and District Cricket Association) when he was serving as President of DDCA during 2000 to 2013.

Minister Jaitley denounced any foul play during his time as President and objected to AAP leaders accusation. He further stated that the false accusations had tarnished his reputation and thus he was seeking reparations to the tune of Rs. 10 crore for public defamation of his image.

Court proceedings

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Union Minister Arun Jaitley both filed a petition with Delhi High Court on Monday, 2nd April 2018. Kejriwal represented by his lawyer advocate Anupam Srivastava told the Court that he had formally apologised to the BJP leader which has been accepted by Mr. Jaitley. The other AAP leaders except Kumar Vishwas tendered their own apologies to the Union Minister as well.

In his apology letter to the Union Minister, Mr. Kejriwal stated, “I have recently discovered that the information and the imputations contained therein are unfounded and unwarranted and I was clearly misinformed into making these allegations.” Kejriwal urged Mr. Jaitley to forget such “unsavoury litigations” so that they both could move forward to “serve the country to the best of our abilities.”

Arvind Kejriwal also declined to accept any responsibility for the defamatory remarks passed by his former advocate Ram Jethmalani during cross-examination of this defamation suit. Mr. Jaitley had filed a second defamation suit of Rs. 10 crores against Delhi CM when Senior advocate Jethmalani had used defamatory words against the Union Minister on March 19. Mr. Kejriwal unequivocally denied he had any role to play in the second defamation case and claimed that he had “never instructed his then counsel to use any scandalous words against the minister during the recording of evidence.”

Arun Jaitley represented by his lawyers’ Senior advocate Rajiv Nayyar and advocate Manik Dogra also confirmed AAP Supremo’s contention and stated his desire to see the closure of the defamation suit. Justice Manmohan accepted the contention of both the parties and disposed of the two-year-old defamation suit on 3rd April allowing AAP leaders a breather after the party leaders were seen getting embroiled in more than 20 defamation cases.

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