Former Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and two other AAP leaders were today granted bail by a Delhi court in a criminal defamation complaint filed against them by an advocate after they furnished personal bond. Metropolitan Magistrate Muneesh Garg released Kejriwal, AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Yogendra Yadav on bail after they appeared before it in pursuance to summons issued against them.
Kejriwal, Sisodia and Yadav, through advocate Rishikesh Kumar, furnished a personal bond of Rs 10,000 each. The court has now fixed the matter for August 16.
The court had earlier summoned them on the complaint of advocate Surender Kumar Sharma under sections 499, 500 (defamation) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC. It had said there was prima facie material to summon the accused.
"The press release published in newspapers as well as testimonies of witnesses reflect that defamatory remarks were published in the newspaper which affected the reputation of complainant in the society and lowered his reputation in the eyes of other members of the society," the court had said. The court, however, had rejected the complainant's plea that AAP leaders had conspired and cheated him, saying in the absence of the very element of deception, there was no prima facie material against any of the accused for the offence of cheating and criminal conspiracy.
Sharma had alleged that in 2013 he was approached by volunteers of AAP who asked him to contest Delhi Assembly election on party ticket as Kejriwal was pleased with his social services. He filled up the application form for contesting on AAP ticket and was later on told by Sisodia and Yadav that the Political Affairs Committee of the party had decided to give him the ticket but it was later denied to him.
He started his political campaign and incurred expenses of about five lakhs on the campaign, the complaint alleged.
On October 14, 2013, the complainant read articles in leading daily newspapers in which "derogatory and defamatory language" was used against him, it said, adding "defamatory, unlawful and derogatory words used by the accused persons as published in the newspapers have lowered the reputation of the complainant in the Bar and society".
The articles had also mentioned that AAP had decided to replace its candidate from the Shahdara Constituency, he said. The articles quoted a party statement saying that it was found that there were criminal cases and FIRs pending against its candidate (complainant) and that in his application, he had failed to mention about it.
While summoning Kejriwal, Sisodia and Yadav, the court had said considering the testimonies of witnesses, the press release issued by the accused persons in the newspaper, it was of the considered view that there was prima facie material to summon the accused persons.