New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and BJP leader Vijender Gupta to amicably settle the issue of a defamation case out of court.
"Why don`t you settle the issue out of court?" Justice Kailash Gambhir said, asking the counsel to sit together and persuade their clients to resolve the matter by April 24.
The chief minister had filed the suit against Gupta for allegedly erecting hoardings across the city, accusing her government of conniving with private discoms and committing corruption in determining new power tariff.
The court passed the order after senior counsel Sanjay Jain, appearing for Gupta, submitted that his client had no intention to malign any individual but the government act was projected in a bad light.
Dikshit who had demanded a token Rs 1 as damages in her suit, had alleged that the BJP, under Gupta`s leadership in June 2010 had erected hoardings in Delhi proclaiming that her government had "openly looted thousands of crores of rupees".
The suit said Gupta had hoardings put up, accusing Delhi Congress government of misrepresenting facts to city residents on power tariff.
The advertisements also claimed the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) was going to recommend reduction in power tariff, but the "chief minister came in the way".
Dikshit moved the court after Gupta refused to tender an "public apology for the slander" as demanded by her.
As per the suit, the hoardings were erected at Pusa Road, Karol Bagh, Shankar Road, Hari Nagar, Jhandewalan, Delhi Gate, Rani Jhansi Road, Najafgarh Road, Rajendra Nagar Road, New Rohtak Road, Filmistan and Subzi Mandi.