Arvind Kejriwal jailed in defamation case, supporters clash with police

Former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was on Wednesday arrested and sent to Tihar Jail till May 23 after he refused to furnish a bail bond in connection with a criminal defamation complaint filed against him by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari.

By Ritesh K Srivastava | Last Updated: May 22, 2014, 00:13 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava & Deepak Nagpal

New Delhi: Former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was on Wednesday arrested and sent to Tihar Jail till May 23 after he refused to furnish a bail bond in connection with a criminal defamation complaint filed against him by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari.

After Aam Aadmi Party chief Kejriwal was taken inside the Tihar Jail, the situation outside turned chaotic as his party workers clashed with police in the evening.

Several AAP workers, including senior party leader Yogendra Yadav, were detained by police following the clash.

The police evicted AAP supporters and imposed Section 144, which prohibits mass gatherings, outside the jail.
AAP leaders Rakhi Birla, Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh were also present outside the jail to lead the party`s supporters.

"If it is a crime to call a corrupt person corrupt, then send us to jail or hang us. This is dictatorship," said Singh.

Yadav slammed the police`s move to evict them saying, "We are not doing anything illegal. Those who are indulging in corruption... Are sitting in their drawing rooms and enjoying while those opposing corruption are being sent to jail. What kind of justice is this?

"This is police high-handedness. There should be women police to deal with women protesters.

Earlier, Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha ordered after the AAP leader to be taken into custody after he repeatedly refused to furnish a personal bail bond of Rs 10,000 and a surety of like amount.

"Take him into custody," the magistrate ordered.

"In these circumstances as the accused has refused to furnish bail bond or even personal bond without surety, this court is constrained to take the accused into custody.
"Let the accused be sent to judicial custody and be produced before the court on May 23," the magistrate said.

The court, while passing the order, said that the AAP leader was looking for "some exceptional treatment".

The order was passed after Kejriwal refused to give an undertaking and furnish a bail bond of Rs 10,000.

Kejriwal, who today appeared before the court in pursuance to the summons issued against him, told the Metropolitan Magistrate that he was ready to give an undertaking that he will appear before the court but refused to furnish bail bond to secure bail.

During the hearing, the magistrate observed, "I completely agree but why he (Kejriwal) will not furnish bail bond. What is the problem. There is a procedure and why should we follow different procedure in this case.”

"I agree he will appear in the court but the procedure is that a person has to file bail bond. Are you looking for some exception treatment?" the court asked.

Kejriwal, who also argued in the court, told the judge that he has not committed any heinous crime and added that he was not looking for any exceptional treatment.

"This is my principle that when I have not done anything wrong, I will not seek bail. I am ready to go to jail," he said.

Advocates Prashant Bhushan and Rahul Mehra, who appeared for Kejriwal, told the magistrate that these cases are of political nature and as per the principle of Aam Aadmi Party, they will not furnish bail bond.

Bhushan also argued that there was no possibility that Kejriwal would tamper with the evidence or influence the witnesses and filing of undertaking was correct.

Senior advocate Pinki Anand, who appeared for Gadkari, opposed the contentions of defence counsel, saying there was no procedure in law to furnish undertaking and law should not vary for anyone.

(With agency inputs)