New Delhi: Delhi High Court on Thursday advised Union Human Resource Development minister Smriti Irani and Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam to reach a compromise with regard to the defamation cases they have filed against each other and referred the matter for mediation.
Justice Suresh Kait sent the matter to the high court's mediation centre after both sides agreed with the court's suggestion to sit together and settle the dispute.
The matter will be taken up by the mediation centre on August 25 and, if they fail to arrive at a settlement, the court would take up the matter on October 14, 2015, Justice Kait said.
The court passed the order while hearing the plea of Irani who has sought quashing of the summons issued to her by a trial court on June 6, 2014, on a complaint filed by Nirupam.
She has also sought quashing of the complaint.
In the present case, Nirupam, a former Congress MP, had filed the complaint against Irani alleging that on December 20, 2012, when assembly election results of Gujarat were announced, the BJP leader had made "defamatory and scurrilous comments" against him during a TV debate "by making direct aspersions on the character of the complainant (Nirupam)."
Nirupam had said that he had sent a legal notice to Irani through his counsel on July 25 last year asking her to tender an "unconditional public apology" for allegedly making defamatory comments but she did not reply to it.
Earlier, Irani had filed a defamation complaint against Nirupam for allegedly defaming her during the same debate on the private news channel and the court had framed charges against him for allegedly using derogatory and indecent language against her.
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 modesty of a woman) of the IPC.
Irani, a Rajya Sabha member, had alleged in her complaint that Nirupam had questioned her credentials to analyse poll results given her background as a TV actress.
The high court had on July 29 exempted Irani from appearing in person in the criminal defamation case filed by Nirupam.