Kejriwal refuses to furnish bond in defamation case, sent to jail
21 May 2014
Aam Aadmi Party leader and former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was today arrested and sent to judicial custody till 23 May after he refused to furnish bail bond in a criminal defamation complaint filed against him by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari in a Delhi court.
"Take him into custody," metropolitan magistrate Gomati Manocha ordered after the AAP leader repeatedly refused to furnish a personal bail bond of Rs10,000 and a surety of like amount.
"In these circumstances as the accused has refused to furnish bail bond or even personal bond without surety, this court is constrained to take the accused into custody.
"Let the accused be sent to judicial custody and be produced before the court on May 23," the magistrate said.
Kejriwal was summoned as an accused by the court in the defamation complaint in which Gadkari had alleged that he was defamed by the AAP leader, who had included his name in the party's list of "India's most corrupt".
Kejriwal has been taken into custody and sent to a lock-up inside the court premises amid tight security and later taken to Tihar Jail.
The procedure of courts cannot be "thrown to the winds" at the whims and fancies of the litigants, the magistrate observed in her three-page order, adding, "The court cannot act as a mute spectator when a particular litigant intentionally seeks to violate the procedure established by law."
"This case cannot be dealt with any differently than any other criminal cases where the courts insist on furnishing bail bond/personal bond to secure the presence of the accused persons. The accused in the present case cannot seek differential treatment to be let off only on an oral undertaking in violation/divergence to the settled practice/procedure regarding bail," the court said.
This is not a case where the accused is unable to furnish bail bond due to financial inability. "The accused is just adamant to not furnish bail bond or even a personal bond for his appearance before the court," it observed.
Kejriwal said he was ready to give an undertaking that he will appear before the court but refused to furnish bail bond to secure bail.
Earlier during the day the court heard arguments by the counsel for Kejriwal and Gadkari on the issue, during which the court asked if the AAP leader was looking for "some exceptional treatment".
The magistrate observed, "I completely agree but why he (Kejriwal) will not furnish bail bond? What is the problem? There is a procedure and why should we follow different procedure in this case."
"I agree he will appear in the court but the procedure is that a person has to file bail bond. Are you looking for some exceptional treatment?"
Kejriwal told the judge that he has not committed any heinous crime and added that he was not looking for any exceptional treatment. "This is my principle that when I have not done anything wrong, I will not seek bail. I am ready to go to jail," he said.
Advocates Prashant Bhushan and Rahul Mehra, who appeared for Kejriwal, told the magistrate that these cases are of political nature and as per the principle of AAP, they will not furnish bail bond. Bhushan also argued that there was no possibility that Kejriwal would tamper with the evidence or influence the witnesses.
Senior advocate Pinki Anand, who appeared for Gadkari, opposed the contentions of defence counsel, saying there was no procedure in law to furnish undertaking and law should not vary for anyone.