NEW DELHI (TIP): The Aam Aadmi Party suspended all forms of protest against the judicial custody of Arvind Kejriwal and said that it would instead start a door-to-door campaign against BJP leader Nitin Gadkari. Kejriwal on May 21 refused to furnish a bail bond of Rs 10,000 in a defamation case filed by Gadkari and chose to go to jail instead. The decision was taken after senior AAP members Sanjay Singh and Ashutosh met Kejriwal in Tihar on Thursday morning. By evening, to counter charges that it made the allegations without proof, the party put out documents and the video of Kejriwal’s press conference in 2012 where he made revelations about the irrigation scam in Maharashtra, linking Gadkari with it.
A meeting of Delhi volunteers has been organized on May 23 evening where the party will decide on its next course of action, including a protest against the section of law under which Kejriwal has been imprisoned. AAP has also opposed the lower court ruling, claiming that asking for a bond or sending to prison were not the only options available to the magistrate.
“Section 88 of the CrPC, under which the magistrate gave Kejriwal the two options, states that ‘when any person for whose appearance or arrest the officer presiding in any court is empowered to issue a summons or warrant, is present in such court, such officer may require such person to execute a bond, with or without sureties, for his appearance in such court, or any other court to which the case may be transferred for trial’.
The operative word is ‘may’. Even the Supreme Court has said that there is no need for such bonds because of which thousands of people are languishing in jails unnecessarily,” said senior AAP leader and lawyer Prashant Bhushan.