The Delhi High Court on Tuesday advised Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal, who has been lodged in Tihar Jail, to furnish a bail bond in the criminal defamation complaint filed against him by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nitin Gadkari.
A bench of justices Kailash Gambhir and Sunita Gupta said Kejriwal can raise whatever legal issues he wants to, once he comes out of jail, and that he should not make it a prestige issue. After senior advocate Shanti Bhushan and advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Kejriwal, sought to meet the AAP leader in prison to seek his instruction and put forth the court's suggestion, the bench allowed them to meet him anytime before 1 pm. The court will now hear the matter at 3 pm.
The judges advised Kejriwal to furnish the bail bond and said the same would be subject to final outcome of the legal issues raised by him. The legal issue raised by Kejriwal, in his petition seeking his immediate release from the jail, is whether bail bond is necessary in summons case when accused appears and is accompanied by a lawyer.
The petition challenged the May 21 and 23 orders of a magisterial court remanding Kejriwal in judicial custody for not furnishing bail bond in the criminal defamation complaint filed by Gadkari, saying the same was not mandatory and he should have been allowed to give a written undertaking instead. Kejriwal in his plea, filed through advocate Rohit Kumar Singh, has said the magisterial order sending him to judicial custody was "illegal" as it was based on a "completely wrong premise of law".
During the proceedings, the bench suggested that Kejriwal should furnish bail bond and challenge the magisterial orders once he comes out of jail. It also questioned how a habeas corpus, filed on behalf of Kejriwal, applies against a judicial order. A writ of habeas corpus is used to bring a prisoner or detainee before the court to determine if the person's imprisonment or detention is lawful.
Kejriwal's counsel argued that his detention is "totally illegal" as only a person in custody is required to furnish bail bond.