A Delhi court on Saturday suggested that HRD Minister Smriti Irani and Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam look for “compromise or settlement” of their criminal defamation complaints filed against each other.
“Both the matters are cross cases and the offences are compoundable. You (Irani and Nirupam) both should look for compromise or settlement,” Metropolitan Magistrate Dheeraj Mittal told the advocates representing both the leaders.
To this, Nirupam’s counsel told the court that they were ready for compromise but Irani was not ready for it. The court has now fixed both the matters for hearing on August 1.
During the hearing, the court allowed the contention of advocate Anil Soni, who appeared for Irani, seeking exemption from personal appearance on her behalf on the ground that the she has to participate in Budget Session of Parliament on Saturday.
Similarly, Nirupam’s lawyer informed the court that his client has been granted exemption from personal appearance in the matter by the Delhi High Court.
“Heard both the parties. Exemption allowed. Put up the matter for further hearing on August 1,” the court said.
Nirupam, a former Congress MP, had filed a defamation complaint against Irani alleging that on December 20, 2012, when assembly election results of Gujarat were announced, the BJP leader had allegedly made “defamatory and scurrilous comments” against him during a TV debate.
Irani too had also filed a similar complaint against the Congress leader for allegedly defaming her during the same debate aired on a private news channel.
The court had earlier framed charges against Nirupam for allegedly using derogatory and indecent language against Irani while the BJP leader was summoned as accused on the complaint filed by Nirupam.
On Irani’s complaint, the court had put Nirupam on trial under sections 500 (defamation) and 509 (uttering any word or making any gesture intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the IPC.
If convicted, section 500 of the IPC entails a simple imprisonment for two years or fine or both. Section 509 of IPC carries a simple jail term of one year or fine or both.
In his complaint, Nirupam had alleged that he had sent a legal notice to the BJP leader through his counsel on July 25 last year asking her to tender an “unconditional public apology” for allegedly making defamatory comments against him but she did not reply to it.