Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal was on Friday put on trial by a Delhi court on charges of defamation on a complaint filed against him by Nitin Gadkari after he refused to settle the issue with the Bharatiya Janata Party leader.
Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha framed the notice under Section 251 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (dealing with issuance of summons in such complaints) against Kejriwal and fixed the matter for recording of evidence of Gadkari and his witnesses on August 2.
The court framed the charge after Kejriwal refused to heed to the magistrate’s suggestion to amicably resolve the case filed against him by Gadkari, even after the Union Minister indicated that if the AAP leader was ready to withdraw his alleged defamatory statement he would drop his complaint.
“That on January 30, 2014, you made and published imputations/statements against the complainant Nitin Gadkari in the media stating that he is a corrupt politician and that people should see whether they should vote....,” the magistrate said in the order.
The court, however, allowed the plea of Kejriwal seeking exemption from personal appearance. After the court framed the notice, Kejriwal pleaded not guilty of the offence and claimed trial.
The court, in the morning session on Friday, had advised Kejriwal to bury the hatchet and amicably settle the issue with Gadkari. “Why don’t you both shake hands before the court and finish the matter on an amicable note? Why don’t you bury your hatchet and utilise time in a more productive manner?” the court said. “You both are renowned politicians, people look up to you,” the court added.