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Court to hear criminal defamation complaint against Kejriwal on Dec 20


New Delhi (Oct 18, 2014): A Delhi court on Saturday fixed December 20 for hearing a criminal defamation complaint filed by Union Cabinet Minister Nitin Gadkari against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal.

The matter was put up for the next date after Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha could not conduct proceedings as she had gone to attend a training session.

Earlier, the counsel for Kejriwal had informed the court that there was a possibility of compromise in the complaint and they were in the process of finalising it.

The submissions were made when the court had asked if both the politicians had arrived at any compromise in the matter. The court had observed that it was a clash of egos and it would be better if the matter gets settled.

Kejriwal was arrested and sent to Tihar jail on May 21 after he had refused to furnish bail bond in the case but gave in within a week and was released.

The court had earlier allowed former Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal's plea seeking permanent exemption from personal appearance.

The court had framed defamation charges against Kejriwal after both the parties had told it that they have not reached any settlement in the case.

Section 500 (defamation) of the IPC, being a compoundable offence, the court had advised Kejriwal to bury the hatchet and amicably settle the issue with Gadkari.

Gadkari had earlier told the court that he was ready to resolve the issue if Kejriwal withdraws his statement.

Kejriwal, however, had refused to withdraw his statement and allegations which he had levelled against Gadkari.

Kejriwal had been summoned as an accused by the court in the defamation complaint in which Gadkari had alleged that he was defamed by the AAP leader who had included his name in the party's list of "India's most corrupt".

Gadkari had earlier told the court, "I am an honest politician and damage has been caused to my reputation by the defamatory allegation levelled against me by Kejriwal. I don't have any personal enmity against Kejriwal."

Kejriwal had pleaded not guilty to the offence and claimed trial.