Lucknow: The Allahabad High Court on Monday stayed for four weeks the bailable warrant issued against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal by a Amethi court for his alleged inflammatory speech in UP during Lok Sabha elections.
The division bench of the court permitted Kejriwal's counsel to move a fresh application for exemption before the magistrate court and directed the concerned lower court to dispose it off expeditiously.
Justice Mahendra Dayal stayed the warrant on a petition moved by Kejriwal, filed under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code while disposing it finally.
"It is further observed that if the applicant (Kejriwal) applies for exemption from personal appearance, the same shall also be considered by the court below in accordance with law. The bailable warrant issued against the applicant shall remain in abeyance for a period of four weeks from today. The petition stands finally disposed of," the court said.
The court further said that,"In view of the above, the present application is disposed of with observation that the grounds taken by the applicant in the instant application under section 482 of CrPC may be taken at appropriate stage before the court below and it will be open for the learned court below to pass appropriate order".
The petitioner had sought directions for quashing the proceedings of the case including chargesheet and bailable warrant issued against him for alleged inflammatory speech in Amethi during the Lok Sabha election last year.
On behalf of the petitioner, counsel Mahmood Alam submitted that the alleged speech comes under purview of 'Right to Expression', hence no offence was made out while state government counsel, Rishad Murtaza opposed this argument saying there were certain limits to 'Right to Expression'.
According to state government advocate, the case was lodged against the Aam Aadmi Party leader in Musafirkhana police station of Amethi in which charge sheet was filed and bailable warrant issued against him on July 20, directing him to appear before the judicial magistrate.
Murtaza said the case was registered against Kejriwal in May 2014 during the parliamentary election under Section 125 of Representation of People's Act in connection with his speech at Aurangabad village.
The section deals with the offence of promoting enmity between classes in connection with election on grounds of religion, race, caste, community or language and entails imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or fine, or both.