Shake hands: HC directs Gadkari, Kejriwal

‘You both are lions, don’t waste time on petty issues’

New Delhi : The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked union minister Nitin Gadkari and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal to find an amicable solution and reach a compromise in a defamation case filed by the former BJP chief to seek redressal for charges of corruption hurled at him.

A division bench of Justice Reva Khetrapal and Justice S P Garg asked both the leaders to ‘shake hands’ and solve the issue amicably. The bench also said it was only a ‘matter of ego’.

“None of you are afraid of filing complaints. You both are lions. Don’t waste time on petty issues. These are matters of ego, nothing else,” the bench said.

The court asked them to consider solving the issue amicably and inform it August 22, the next date of hearing. The court also suggested to Kejriwal’s counsel Shanti Bhushan to withdraw the allegations filed against Gadkari, union minister of road transport and highways, and in turn the minister will withdraw his defamation case against the Aam Aadmi Party chief.

Appearing for Gadkari, Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand told the court that if Kejriwal withdraws the allegations, the minister will also withdraw his case.

However, Kejriwal’s counsel Bhushan was not very keen to withdraw the allegations and told the court that Gadkari approached it first and filed a defamation case against Kejriwal.

“You (Kejriwal) withdraw your complaint and you (Gadkari) will not prosecute against him (Kejriwal). He (Kejriwal) will also not file such complaints again,” the bench suggested.  Asking the counsel to take instructions from their clients in the settlement issue, the court said it will later see why the allegations were made.

“Let’s see why these allegations were made. We have to go to the grassroots,” it said.

The court was hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by Kejriwal for his release from jail after he was sent to judicial custody May 21 when he refused to furnish a bail bond in the defamation case filed by Gadkari.  The court also said it will take up the issue of a public interest litigation (PIL) raised by Kejriwal that if a person appeared in pursuance to court summons and was accompanied by a lawyer, there was no need for the person to furnish a bail bond, especially when he was willing to give an undertaking.

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