Arun Jaitley withdraws defamation case against Kumar Vishwas after apology
BJP leader Arun Jaitley has withdrawn his defamation case against dissident AAP leader Kumar Vishwas after the latter apologized. This came almost two months after Arvind Kejriwal and four others, who too were named in the case, had issued an unequivocal apology. Vishwas had earlier refused to do so, saying he was following the party line in attacking Jaitley.
What was the case about?
Jaitley had sued Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders in December'15, seeking Rs. 10cr as damages, after they accused him of corruption during his 13-year tenure as Delhi and District Association's boss. A second Rs. 10cr defamation suit followed in July'17, after Kejriwal's lawyer Ram Jethmalani used a slur during cross-examination. He claimed that the term was authorized by his client Kejriwal.
Why did Kejriwal apologize?
There were about 20 defamation cases pending against Kejriwal. To reduce the financial cost spent on litigation, Kejriwal undertook an apology marathon. He apparently wanted to "refocus" his time and energy on governance-related matters. Apart from Jaitley, he has apologized to SAD's Bikram Singh Majithia, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Congress leader Kapil Sibal's son Amit Sibal. The apology to Jaitley came in April.
'Vishwas too has to apologize like other AAP leaders': Lawyer
Jaitley withdrew the case against Kejriwal and key aides Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai a day after they submitted written apologies. But Vishwas refused. However, Jaitley's lawyer rejected his argument of toeing the party-line, saying, "He cannot now say he was parroting what the others said" after they have apologized. By that logic, Vishwas too has to apologize unequivocally, he added.
Vishwas finally apologized through a "poetic letter"
Vishwas, who said that he had based his statements on information he received from party leaders, had sought time from the court to find out whether they had lied to him. The court had agreed. Reports say that he has apologized to Jaitley through a "poetic letter." The Delhi HC has now disposed of the case against him as well.