Stop making bail avoidance a prestige issue, court tells Kejriwal

A Delhi Court today asked Arvind Kejriwal, the chief of the Aam Aadmi Party, to furnish a personal bond for his bail, questioning why he had made it a "prestige issue''.

Kejriwal has been in Delhi's Tihar Jail since Wednesday after refusing to furnish a bail bond in a defamation case filed against him by the Bharatiya Janata Party's Nitin Gadkari, now a cabinet minister in the Narendra Modi government.

Kejriwal has insisted that the court should not ask him for a bail bond as he is an ''upright citizen'' and has committed no crime. On Monday, he moved the Delhi High Court for his immediate release.

Hearing his petition, the court today said, "It is a small case. Why are you making it big? Why are you taking this as a prestige issue?"

The court also appeared to rebuke AAP leader Prashant Bhushan and his father, former law minister Shanti Bhushan, who are representing Kejriwal. "Mr Kejriwal should be given proper counselling by you," the court said, addressing them.

The AAP chief was jailed on Wednesday and first sent to judicial custody for two days. The court ordered 14 more days in custody when Kejriwal remained adamant on not furnishing a bail bond.

After today's hearing, Prashant Bhushan went to the Tihar Jail, apparently to persuade Kejriwal to get out of jail and then fight his case, as the court had advised.