New Delhi, Mar 19: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was acquited on Monday in two defamation cases filed by BJP leader and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Amit Sibal, son of Congress leader Kapil Sibal. This came after Arvind Kejriwal apologized to Nitin Gadkari and Kapil Sibal for making unverified allegations of corruption against them. Both withdrew their defamation cases against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader on Monday.

In 2014, Gadkari had filed the defamation suit against Kejriwal after he named him in a list of “corrupt politicians”. In a March 16 letter to Gadkari, Kejriwal said he was feeling sorry for making “certain statements, without regard to its verifiability, which seems to have hurt you. I have nothing personal against you. I regret the same. Let us put the incident behind us and bring the court proceedings to a closure.”

Consequent to the apology, Gadkari and Kejriwal later filed a joint application in the Patiala House Court, seeking withdrawal of the defamation case. “Kejriwal has acknowledged that (the) complainant (Gadkari) was hurt on account of unverified allegations and expressed regret, in the larger public interest” and that “the complainant does not wish to pursue the defamation case,” read the application.

Kejriwal and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also wrote to Congress leader Kapil Sibal and his son Amit, seeking apology for making “unfounded” allegation against them at a joint press conference on May 15, 2013. “Now, I have learnt that the allegation I made against you and your father at the press conference were unfounded. I hereby withdraw all my allegations made against you and your father and apologize for the same.

“The damage caused to your esteem, the hurt cause to your family, friends and well-wishers and the loss caused to you is regretted,” Kejriwal and Sisodia wrote in separate but identical letters. The four — Kejriwal, Sisodia and the Sibals — then jointly wrote to the court seeking withdrawal of the defamation case by the Sibals.

Last week, Kejriwal regretted having accused Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Majithia of drug trade without evidence, the move which triggered a virtual rebellion in the AAP Punjab unit, leading to the resignation of Bhagwant Mann as its Punjab Unit chief.