AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal’s jail stay was extended till June 6 on Friday as he remained adamant on not furnishing bail bond in a criminal defamation case against him by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari, with a Delhi court chiding him for “legal illiteracy” and asking him to be “sensible”.
Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha remanded the former Delhi chief minister, who was produced in a packed court room from Tihar Jail, in judicial custody till June 6 saying she cannot review her order passed on May 21.
“I will only request you (Kejriwal’s lawyer) to challenge my order if you want. I have already made up my mind,” the magistrate said, adding that the court was only following legal procedure and “that if other leaders of the party can furnish bond to secure bail, why Kejriwal cannot do the same”.
The court had on May 21 sent him to custody till today after he had refused to furnish bail bond in the case. During the hearing, the court said that there is a lot of legal illiteracy in the country and even educated persons do not know what bail and bail bond is. “There is a lot of legal illiteracy in the country. Even educated people do not know about legal proceedings as to what is bail and what is bond. Being in the position you (Kejriwal) were, I expect you to be sensible,” the magistrate observed.
Kejriwal was earlier 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”. During the hearing, senior advocate Shanti Bhushan, who appeared for Kejriwal, argued that in such cases where the accused has not been arrested, there was no requirement to furnish bail bond.
Senior advocate Pinki Anand, who appeared for Gadkari, told the court that criminal courts cannot review their order. During the hearing, Kejriwal told the court he was trying to understand what his fault was and lots of politicians have filed such cases against him. “In such cases, I have been released after I gave undertaking in courts earlier,” he said. The magistrate, however, said Kejriwal was told to give a bond only and it was a legal procedure to furnish bonds for bail.
“You (Kejriwal) have been summoned as an accused. You are not a convict. You will face trial…you cannot say that I am innocent and I will not give bond. This is a procedure,” the magistrate said.
The court observed that if other leaders of the party can furnish bond to secure bail, why Kejriwal cannot continued…