New Delhi, Jun 5 : Activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal today stood firm in a local court on his stand 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(CMM) Sanjay Bansal released Kejriwal on an undertaking that he would appear on 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 Dikshit by making “baseless” allegations against her last year in 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 is his decision of not giving any bond and he has been following the same principle in other cases lodged against him.
“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,” 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 on every hearing of the case.
Advocate Mehmood Pracha, appearing for complainant Pawan Khera, however, opposed 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.
“This issue regarding bail will be decided on the next date of hearing. Let the accused put signature on the order sheet and submit that he will appear on every hearing. This be taken as his undertaking. This will be valid till the next date of hearing only,” the court said.
Meanwhile, the court also fixed August 17 for hearing arguments on framing of charges against 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 Khera, political secretary of the Chief Minister, and not by Dikshit herself.
Kejriwal had admitted the allegations levelled against him but said if Dikshit was defamed then she should have filed the defamation case herself.
Khera had filed the defamation complaint saying Kejriwal had used “false and filthy” language against Dikshit in a television show.
“Due to politically motivated and malafide reasons, mischievous and absolutely false and baseless allegations have been intentionally made in a filthy and foul language through convoluted information to gain scandalising impact, at a platform where the same could not be rebutted, as Sheila Dikshit or the office of the Chief Minister of Delhi was not represented.
“This shows that the intention was to paint a patently incorrect picture in the eyes of the viewers, general public, thereby, causing irreparable harm to the reputation and standing of all including complainant,” the complaint alleged.
It said in October 2012, 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”.