Kejriwal’s custody extended till June 6

New Delhi : A court here Friday extended, till June 6, the judicial custody of former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in a defamation case.

Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha extended Kejriwal’s judicial custody by 14 more days after he refused to furnish a personal bond in the defamation case filed by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari.

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Kejriwal Wednesday refused to pay the bail bond of Rs.10,000 and was sent to the Tihar Central Jail.

The court said that it would not change the earlier order and if Kejriwal wants, he could challenge the order in a higher court.

It sought to know from Kejriwal why he wouldn’t furnish a bond as it was like an undertaking only. It reminded him that he has held a high position in government and asked him to behave as a sensible and responsible citizen.

“The court cannot follow different procedure for Kejriwal,” it said.

“I will only request you (Kejriwal) to challenge my order if you want. I have already made up my mind,” the judge said.

The court also expressed its view on legal illiteracy in the country, lamenting that even educated people do not know what bail and a bail bond are.

Kejriwal reiterated that he will not furnish a personal bond and requested the court to release him with an undertaking.

Gadkari’s counsel and senior advocate Pinky Anand said that 59 members of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) were released on personal bond Thursday.

“Why is Kejriwal not doing so,” Anand asked.

Even the court asked Kejriwal if other leaders of the party can furnish bonds to secure bail, why couldn’t he do the same.

Kejriwal was presented in a packed court room after the expiry of his two-day judicial custody.

His counsel, senior advocate Shanti Bhushan, argued that in such cases where the accused has not been arrested, there was no requirement to furnish a bail bond.

Kejriwal said: “In such cases, I have been released after I gave undertaking in courts earlier.”

The court responded that 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,” the court said, adding it has to follow the procedure and abide by law. Even the minor offender has to submit a bail bond, it said.

“I have to follow the same procedure, whether it is Kejiwal or any other,” the court said.

During the hearing, Kejriwal, who has claimed the case was politically motivated, told the court he was trying to understand what his fault was and lots of politicians have filed such cases against him.

Meanwhile, the court has granted exemption to Gadkari but it has directed him to appear on the next date of hearing in the case.