The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday said that it would challenge the Patiala Metropolitian court’s decision on Friday if it goes against party chief Arvind Kejriwal, even as it announced a mass contact programme.
The party also ruled out the possibility of furnishing a bond if the court demands as it has taken a “principled” decision not to do so. “We told the court that it is not necessary to have a bail bond for those who are ready to give an undertaking that they will remain present for court proceedings. We will highlight the facts before the court tomorrow. Many poor people are stuck in the jail because they cannot provide the bail bond,” party leader and lawyer Prashant Bhushan told a press conference.
“We will not pay bond as it is against our principles. If the order is not in our favour then we will challenge the court’s decision in the higher court,” said party leader Sanjay Singh. Senior advocate and AAP founder member Shanti Bhushan said according to section 88 of the CrPC, “when any person for whose appearance or arrest the officer presiding in any Court is empowered to issue a summons or warrant, is present in such Court, such officer may require such person to execute a bond, with or without sureties, for his appearance in such Court, or any other Court to which the case may be transferred for trial.”
“So it not mandatory to ask for a bail bond. There have been four instances where the court did not ask for bond,” Bhushan said. The party also said it will launch a door-to-door contact programme to apprise people about the circumstances leading to Kejriwal’s arrest in a criminal defamation case instead of holding protest against it.
“We had a meeting with Arvind Kejriwal during which it was decided that the party won’t protest anymore and would launch a door-to-door campaign and tell people how a honest man like Kejriwal is in jail,” senior AAP leader Ashutosh said. The party also said that it will also hold meeting of its volunteers after tomorrow’s decision.
“We will decide the course of action after court’s decision. We have called for a meeting of all our volunteers,” said party leader Gopal Rai.
Gopal Rai said the party will take the battle from Delhi to across the country. “Is calling a corrupt person corrupt a crime, then we will commit the crime and go to jail. Nitin Gadkari was removed from the office by the BJP over the corruption charges. We will launch a campaign against him.
“Narendra Modi called Arvind Kejriwal, an agent of Pakistan, but no FIR was lodged against him,” Singh said. He also slammed the police for its action against AAP volunteers. “We will take this fight to the people. AAP will not succumb to the dicatatorship of the police,” he said. In the morning, Singh, Ashutosh and Kejriwal’s wife Sunita met the AAP chief in Tihar Jail and gave him a fresh set of clothes and medicines.
“He is not a criminal. Why should he pay money when he is ready to give an undertaking?” asked Sunita.
She also criticised the media for calling her husband’s action ‘drama’. “It is wrong the way media is presenting the entire episode,” she said.
The AAP leader was sent to Tihar Jail till May 23 by Delhi court yesterday after he refused to furnish bail bond in a criminal defamation complaint filed against him by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari.