New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has apologized to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for charges of corruption hurled against him when he headed the Delhi cricket board, making it his fourth sorry in over a fortnight to end litigation against him.
Following the apology, tendered in a letter on Sunday but which came into public domain on Monday, Kejriwal and Jaitley moved an application before Delhi High Court seeking withdrawal of the defamation case.
Four other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders – Sanjay Singh, Ashutosh, Deepak Bajpai and Raghav Chadha – have also apologized to Jaitley for their allegations.
In his letter written on the AAP letterhead, Kejriwal expressed his sincere apology to Jaitley and his family members.
“I unequivocally withdraw all the allegations made by me in question whether in print, electronic or social media against you. I offer my sincere apology to you and your family members for any harm caused to your reputation as a consequence of my allegations.”
Kejriwal said the allegations made by him were based on information and papers furnished by certain individuals who represented to have first-hand insight into the DDCA’s affairs but had “recently discovered that the information and the imputations contained therein are unfounded and unwarranted and I was clearly misinformed into making these allegations”.
Jaitley had asked for Rs 10 crore as damages after Kejriwal and several other AAP leaders accused him of corruption during his 13-year stint at the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).
Jaitley had filed a criminal defamation case against the AAP leaders before a magisterial court in December 2015, denying the charges and claiming that they affected his reputation.
Kejriwal also said that he did not approve of senior advocate Ram Jethmalani’s “disparaging and malicious” remarks against Jaitley.
The BJP leader had filed a second civil defamation case last year after Kejriwal’s then lawyer Jethmalani used a slur while cross-examining him and stated the term had been authorised by his client.
Kejriwal said they should end the “unsavoury litigation”.
“Though we belong to two different political parties, I believe we should end the unsavoury litigation between us and serve the people of our country to the best of our abilities,” he said.
After Jaitley accepted the AAP leaders’ apology, they moved joint applications before the Delhi High Court and Patiala House Court seeking withdrawal of the civil and criminal defamation cases.
The joint application read: “Kejriwal and others have individually tendered an unqualified apology to the plaintiff (Jaitley).
“Each of the defendants (AAP leaders) have unequivocally withdrawn all the allegations made by him in print, electronic or social media against the complainant (Jaitley) and his family members.
“Kejriwal has offered his sincere apology to the complainant Jaitley and his family members for any harm caused to the complainant’s reputation as a consequence of the allegations made by him (Kejriwal).
“The complainant (Jaitley) has accepted the apology tendered by Kejriwal and in view of thereof does not wish to proceed with the aforementioned complaint against the accused (Kejriwal).”
The courts will hear the matter on Tuesday.
Kejriwal earlier apologized to Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia for alleging his involvement in the drug trade. Days later, he apologized to BJP leader and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Congress leader Kapil Sibal and his son Amit over separate issues.
Kejriwal has been dragged to courts by many, including former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.