The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked chief minister Sheila Dikshit to settle out of court her defamation case against BJP leader Vijender Gupta.
“Why don’t you settle the issue out of court,” said Justice Kailash Gambhir, while asking the counsels to persuade their clients to resolve the matter by April 24.
The chief minister had filed the suit against Gupta for allegedly erecting hoardings accusing her government of conniving with private discoms and indulging in corruption in determining the new power tariff across the city.
The court passed the order after senior counsel Sanjay Jain, appearing for Gupta, submitted that his client had no intention of maligning any individual, but the government act was projected in a bad light.
Dikshit, who had demanded a token amount of Rs 1 as damages in her suit, had alleged that the BJP, under Gupta’s leadership, in June 2010 had erected hoardings in Delhi proclaiming that her government had “openly looted thousands of crores of rupees”. The suit said Gupta had hoardings put up, accusing Delhi Congress government of misrepresenting facts to city residents on power tariff.
The advertisements also claimed that the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) was going to recommend reduction in power tariff, but the “chief minister came in the way”.
Dikshit moved the court after Gupta refused to tender a “public apology for the slander” as demanded by her.
As per the suit, the hoardings were erected at Pusa Road, Karol Bagh, Shankar Road, Hari Nagar, Jhandewalan, Delhi Gate, Rani Jhansi Road, Najafgarh Road, Rajendra Nagar Road, New Rohtak Road, Filmistan and Subzi Mandi.