A court in New Delhi on Tuesday fixed May 2 for delivering its order on framing of charges in a defamation case against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and two others after they appeared before it.
Metropolitan Magistrate Mayuri Singh on Tuesday morning directed Kejriwal, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Yogendra Yadav to appear before it in the afternoon.
All three leaders later appeared in a court room at the Karkardooma court complex. Kejriwal and Sisodia entered at 1.40 p.m. while Yadav reached the jam-packed court room after 10 minutes.
As the court room was packed, Yadav lost his balance and slipped while entering. He took a chair on Kejriwal's left and had a short interaction with him.
The court then deferred the matter for May 2 for delivering the order on framing of charges in the case.
This was the first meeting between the two leaders after the controversy over leadership in the party.
The court in the morning had asked the AAP leaders to explain why they should be exempted from appearing in court and directed them to be present in the defamation case filed by Surender Kumar Sharma.
The court observed that the accused did not explain any reasonable ground for the plea seeking exemption from personal appearance in court, and regretted that they had no respect for the law.
The court was earlier scheduled to deliver its order on March 17.
As the concerned magistrate was on leave on Tuesday, the case was assigned to link magistrate Mayuri Singh.
Kejriwal, Sisodia and Yadav had moved applications seeking exemption from personal appearance at the hearing.
The complainant, advocate Surender Kumar Sharma, had alleged that in 2013, the AAP approached him and asked him to contest the Delhi assembly elections on a party ticket, saying Kejriwal was pleased with his social services.
Sharma claimed that on October 14, 2013, articles in leading newspapers carried "defamatory, unlawful and derogatory words used by the accused persons" which lowered his reputation in the Bar and the society.
The court had earlier reserved the order for February 11 and then adjourned it for March 17 on framing of charges against Kejriwal, Sisodia and Yadav.
All the three leaders are at present out on bail.
Sharma said he filled up the application form to contest the polls after Sisodia and Yadav allegedly told him that the AAP's Political Affairs Committee had decided to give him the ticket. However, the ticket was later denied.