Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday was acquitted in two separate defamation cases lodged against him by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Kapil Sibal’s son Amit Sibal after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener tendered apology to both of them.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, a co-accused in the defamation case lodged by Sibal, was also acquitted by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal. Sisodia too tendered an apology to the lawyer after the AAP chief apologised.
The relief came from the court for Kejriwal and his deputy after the apologies were accepted by the complainants in both the defamation cases.
Kejriwal earlier in the day had tendered an apology to Gadkari and Congress leader Kapil Sibal for his unverified allegations.
"I made certain statements, without regard to its verifiability, which seem to have hurt you and therefore you have filed a defamation case against me,” Kejriwal wrote to Gadkari.
“I have nothing personal against you. I regret the same," he said in the letter written on March 16.
Both Kejriwal and Gadkari filed a joint application seeking withdrawal of the defamation case in Delhi's Patiala House Court.
In 2014, Kejriwal had called Gadkari "one of the country's most corrupt politicians". Following his remark, the union minister had filed a criminal defamation case against him.
In a similar letter to Congress leader Kapil Sibal and his son Amit Sibal, the Delhi CM has expressed regret for his “unfounded allegations” against the duo.
In 2013, Kejriwal had alleged that Sibal and his son had a conflict of interest in seeking to revise a tax demand on telecom major Vodafone.
Earlier on March 15, Kejriwal had apologised to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Majithia for levelling “unfounded” allegations of involvment in drug trade against him.
During his rallies in the run-up of 2017 Punjab Assembly Elections, the AAP chief terming the SAD leader a “drug lord” had promised his audience to “drag” him "by his collar" to jail if elected to power.
Following the apology, the Aam Aadmi Party's Punjab unit openly revolted against Kejriwal and the party's state president Bhagwant Mann resigned from his post.
AAP’s ally in Punjab, Lok Insaaf Party, termed the apology a “betrayal” towards the people and decided to break off the alliance.