Activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday stood firm in a local court of not seeking bail in a defamation case filed against him by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s political secretary for his alleged remarks against her during power tariff hike protests.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Bansal released Mr. Kejriwal on an undertaking that he would appear every date of hearing after he refused to seek bail and furnish any personal or surety bond.
The Aam Admi Party (AAP) chief is accused of defaming Ms. Dikshit by making “baseless” allegations against her last year during several protests on power tariff hike.
On being asked by the court to furnish a personal or surety bond, Kejriwal refused to do so saying it was his decision of not giving any bond and he has been following the same principle in other cases lodged against him.
A common man
“I do not want any special treatment. Kindly treat me as a common man. This is my own decision that I am not going to furnish any bail bond. Kindly treat me the way law of the land says,” Mr. Kejriwal submitted before the court.
He stuck to his earlier stand and added that he is ready to face the consequences but will not furnish the bond as giving a surety would mean “there is an apprehension that I might flee”, which is not the case.
The activist said he was ready to give an undertaking or a separate letter that he will appear in the court for every hearing of the case.
Advocate Mehmood Pracha, appearing for complainant Pawan Khera, however, opposed Mr. Kejriwal’s stand asking him to show the provisions in the law which allows a man to be released on an undertaking.
The court, however, made it clear that the relief would only be “valid till the next date of hearing” on August 17, and said it will decide on that day about the issue of bail.
Meanwhile, the court also fixed August 17 for hearing arguments on framing of charges against Mr. Kejriwal who sought to reply on the allegations levelled against him, particularly about the locus standi of the complainant in the case.
Earlier, Kejriwal had opposed the complaint on the grounds that it has been filed by Mr. Khera, political secretary of the Chief Minister, and not by Ms. Dikshit. He had admitted the allegations levelled against him but said if Ms. Dikshit was defamed then she should have filed the defamation case herself. Mr. Khera had filed the defamation complaint saying Mr. Kejriwal had used “false and filthy” language against Ms. Dikshit in a television show.
In October 2012, Mr. Kejriwal had organised several protests against “power tariff hike in the capital and had accused the government of stalling Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission’s move to cut power tariff by 23 per cent in 2010.”