A city court on Saturday issued a bailable warrant against Shazia Ilmi, who quit the AAP earlier in the day, for not appearing in a defamation case filed by outgoing Union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal’s son Amit Sibal.
Last month, the court had warned of coercive measures against AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal and party leaders Manish Sisodia, Prashant Bhushan and Ilmi, accused in the defamation case, after they failed to appear in court.
Only Bhushan was present in court on Saturday. Sisodia had sought exemption following the death of his father. Kejriwal is in Tihar Jail until June 6 after he refused to furnish a personal bail bond in another defamation case filed by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari.
When the judge asked why Ilmi was not present in court, Bhushan, the counsel for the accused in the case, cited medical grounds.The judge demanded that a medical certificate be produced. But Bhushan said the matter was personal and could not be disclosed.
Dismissing the claim, Metropolitan Magistrate Sunil Kumar Sharma issued a bailable warrant against Ilmi, saying she did not turn up despite a summon being issued earlier.
While the court permitted the exemption sought by Sisodia, it ordered that an appropriate application be filed to seek Kejriwal’s exemption and that he should be present on August 23, the next date of hearing.
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Bhushan suggested that the court consider the option of allowing an accused’s exemption when his or her counsel is present. But the judge said he would go ahead with the warrant as Ilmi had defied court orders.
Advocate Mohit Mathur, appearing for Amit, opposed the plea of the accused. “A production warrant should be issued against Kejriwal,” he said. But the court did not issue a production warrant.