Defamation case: Kejriwal apologises to Jaitley, both file motion to settle case
Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal and his four colleagues apologised to Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday for accusing him of corruption during his tenure as the head of Delhi and District Cricket Association. Hours later, a joint application was moved in the Delhi high court and city court by the parties to settle the over two-year-old litigation.
Kejriwal, along with senior AAP leaders Sanjay Singh, Ashutosh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai, all named in the criminal and civil defamation case slapped by Jaitley, apologised to the finance minister.
Kumar Vishwas, an AAP leader who has drifted apart from Kejriwal, declined to apologise. He said he would be failing thousands of AAP volunteers if he chose to apologise for calling out political adversaries for their alleged corruption.
Monday’s apology was the fourth such tendered by Kejriwal and his colleagues. Since March 15, the leaders have issued written apologies to former Punjab minister Bikram Singh Majithia, Union minister Nitin Gadkari, and Congress leader Kapil Sibal’s son Amit Sibal for making defamatory remarks.
The party said they did so to settle as many as 20 defamation cases filed against them by various political leaders across India, adding that they wanted to concentrate their energies on serving the people instead of fighting cases. The matter pertaining to Jaitley and Kejriwal’s applications will be heard on Tuesday.
In five separate letters, all dated April 1, Kejriwal and his aides — Ashutosh, Singh, Chadha and Bajpai — expressed regret over their comments against the Union minister during his tenure as DDCA president. Singh had criticised Kejriwal after he had sent a written apology to Majithia last month.
“I made certain statements about you (Jaitley) in December 2015 and thereafter in connection with your tenure as president of the Delhi District Cricket Association,” read Kejriwal’s letter to Jaitley. The letter continued, “...the information and the imputation contained therein are unfounded and unwarranted and I was clearly misinformed into making these allegations.”
In 2015, Jaitley filed a criminal defamation complaint against Kejriwal, Vishwas, Singh, Ashutosh, Chadha and Bajpai over their comments. He also filed a civil defamation suit, seeking Rs10 crore as damages.
In his letter, Kejriwal also apologised on behalf of lawyer Ram Jethmalani, who represented him.
A provocative remark made by Jethmalani in the courtroom spurred Jaitley to slap yet another defamation case against the Delhi CM. Jethmalani subsequently quit the case and demanded Rs1 crore from Kejriwal as his legal fees. “...I categorically state that the disparaging and malicious statements made by Ram Jethmalani, the senior advocate representing me, were without my knowledge and /or instructions,” he reiterated.
Four days after a college student was allegedly molested on a skywalk at Manpada, local residents have raised safety concerns over another skywalk in the heart of the city which they claim is taken over by miscreants at night as there are no adequate lights and CCTV cameras. Interestingly, this skywalk near Viviana Mall is barely a few metres from former minister Jitendra Awhad's home and around two km from chief minister Eknath Shinde's residence.
With its private beach and a sprawling lawn, Ramtek bungalow in Malabar Hill leads the list, followed by Royal Stone, a colonial-style bungalow with wooden flooring located in Peddar Road. While Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narvekar and revenue minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil have requested for Royal Stone, forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, labour minister Suresh Khade and Vikhe-Patil are vying for Ramtek bungalow, the largest bungalow after Varsha, the official residence of the chief minister.
Mumbai: Two senior citizens lost their lives after the ceiling of a residential structure in which they resided came down on Monday evening. The deceased were identified as Devshankar Nathalal Shukla (93) and his wife, Arkhiben Devshankar Shukla (87). According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) disaster control cell, the incident took place at around 7.46 pm, on the first floor of the building.
Karnataka Police on Monday imposed curbs under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in Shivamogga town after a clash between two groups over banners featuring Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue V D Savarkar and 18th Century ruler Tipu Sultan. A senior police officer familiar with the matter said tension broke out after a banner featuring Savarkar was put up at Amir Ahmed Circle, in Shivamogga, as part of Independence Day celebrations.
In a first, the national flag was hoisted amid tight security on Monday morning at Idgah Maidan in Chamarajpet. The Tricolour was hoisted at the Idgah Maidan by assistant commissioner of Bengaluru (Urban) MG Shivanna. Chamarajpet MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan, member of Lok Sabha from Bengaluru Central constituency PC Mohan, additional commissioner of police (Bengaluru west) Sandeep Patil and deputy commissioner of police (Bengaluru west) Laxman Nimbargi were also present in the event.