New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has apologized to BJP leader and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Congress leader Kapil Sibal for making unverified allegations of corruption against them. Both withdrew their defamation cases against the AAP leader on Monday.
The development came days after Kejriwal regretted having accused Akali Dal leader Bikram Majithia of drug trade without evidence.
In a March 16 letter to Gadkari, Kejriwal said he was feeling sorry for making “certain statements, without regard to its verifiability, which seem to have hurt you…
“I have nothing personal against you. I regret the same. Let us put the incident behind us and bring the court proceedings to a closure.”
He also suggested to the Union Shipping and Transport Minister that “we should put our energy to serve the people of this country in the spirit of mutual respect”.
Consequent to the regret, Gadkari and Kejriwal later filed a joint application in the Patiala House Court, seeking withdrawal of the defamation case.
“Kejriwal has acknowledged that (the) complainant (Gadkari) was hurt on account of unverified allegations and expressed regret, in the larger public interest” and that “the complainant does not wish to pursue the defamation case”, read the application.
The court allowed the plea and disposed of the case.
In 2014, Gadkari had filed the defamation suit against Kejriwal after he named him in a list of “corrupt politicians”.
Kejriwal and his Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also wrote to Congress leader Kapil Sibal and his son Amit, seeking apology for making “unfounded” allegation against them at a joint press conference on May 15, 2013.
“Now, I have learnt that the allegation I made against you and your father at the press conference were unfounded. I hereby withdraw all my allegations made against you and your father and apologize for the same.
“The damage caused to your esteem, the hurt cause to your family, friends and well-wishers and the loss caused to you is regretted,” Kejriwal and Sisodia wrote in separate but identical letters.
The four — Kejriwal, Sisodia and the Sibals — then jointly wrote to the court seeking withdrawal of the defamation case by the Sibals. The court disposed of the case filed by Amit Sibal after Kejriwal alleged conflict of interest over his appearing in the Supreme Court for Telecom major Vodafone when his father was the union Communication Minister.
Kejriwal has been dragged to courts in several defamation cases by various political leaders, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
Last week, the AAP leader wrote to Akali Dal leader Bikram Majithia for accusing his of involvement in drug trade without any proof to back the allegations..
The apology triggered a virtual rebellion in the AAP Punjab unit, leaing to the resignation of Bhagwant Mann as its Punjab Unit chief.