Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday appeared before a Delhi court in connection with a criminal defamation case he had filed against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has been permanently exempted from personal appearance in the case.
Gadkari, the Minister of Road Transport and Highways, was cross-examined for over two and-a half hours by Kejriwal’s counsel who asked him about his alleged association with Nagpur-based Purti Sakhar Karkhana Ltd.
Gadkari told the court that he was not a b usinessman and has been associated with cooperative initiatives and charitable trusts. “It is incorrect to suggest that I am a businessman. In Maharashtra, there are lots of co-operative initiatives and I have been associated with cooperative institutions, charitable trusts and they are all social institutions,” Gadkari told Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha.
The proceedings witnessed heated exchange of words between the advocates appearing for Gadkari and Kejriwal. While Gadkari’s counsel argued that the defence lawyer was not asking relevant questions during cross-examination, the advocate representing Kejriwal said queries posed by him were relevant.
“He (Kejriwal’s counsel) can ask me any question. I am ready to give answers…these questions are not relevant to the case. He can ask any questions as per the charges and allegations levelled by him,” Gadkari told the magistrate. The court was also irked with the heated exchange of words among the advocates. “If you (lawyers) want to fight then you can go outside,” the magistrate said. Gadkari’s cross-examination remained inconclusive and would continue on May 16.
Meanwhile, Kejriwal’s counsel moved an application seeking production of certain documents and the court has asked Gadkari’s lawyer to respond to it on April 18.