Delhi HC issues bailable warrant against Ilmi, Kejriwal, Sisodia-business Standard
They issued bailable warrant in the sum of Rs 5,000 against Shazia Ilmi
A DelhiCourt today issued a bailable warrant against Aam Aadmi Party leader Shazia Ilmi for her non-appearance in a criminal defamation complaint filed against her, party chief Arvind Kejriwal and others by outgoing Telecom minister Kapil Sibal's son Amit Sibal.
The court had last month warned of coercive measures against Kejriwal, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener and former Delhi Chief Minister, and other leaders -- Manish Sisodia, Prashant Bhushan and Ilmi-- after they had failed to appear before it in the matter.
Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Sunil Kumar Sharma today issued the bailable warrant against Ilmi after she did not turn up again despite summons issued earlier.
"Issue bailable warrant in the sum of Rs 5,000 against Shazia Ilmi," the MM said.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan was present in the court.
The court, however, allowed the exemption application of Sisodia for today and did not impose any cost on him on the ground that his father had expired on May 22.
Meanwhile, the court asked former Delhi law minister and senior counsel Shanti Bhushan, appearing for Arvind Kejriwal, who is in judicial custody in another case till June 6, to file an appropriate exemption application and ensure his presence on August 23, the next date of hearing.
"In all civil matters, the trial proceeds without the presence of the accused," Bhushan said, while seeking exemption on behalf of Kejriwal.
The AAP chief was remanded in judicial custody till June 6 and is lodged in Tihar jail after he refused to submit a bail bond in another defamation case filed against him by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari.
Advocate Mohit Mathur, appearing for Amit, today opposed the pleas of the accused saying, "This has become a habit. We have travelled three months but we are still at the same stage. If they seek exemption, then at least the due legal process shall continue."
The court also directed that all the accused shall remain present before it on the next date of hearing.
The court had on July 24 last year summoned Kejriwal, Sisodia, Prashant and Ilmi on the criminal defamation suit filed by Amit, who is a lawyer, in which he had alleged that the AAP leaders had said that he had taken advantage of his father's position to represent a telecom company in court cases here.
Shazia Ilmi quits AAP
Says there is lack of inner party democracy within the Aam Aadmi Party
Aam Aadmi Party leader Shazia Ilmi on Saturday quit the party citing the lack of democracy within the party.
"There is lack of inner party democracy within the Aam Aadmi Party. The party which talks about Swaraj has failed to apply it within the party," Ilmi said at a press conference here.
She also said that her resignation from the party is not due to the fact that she was asked to contest from Ghaziabad, from where she lost.
Kejriwal to remain in judicial custody till June 6
Will be in jail till June 6 as he rejects court's demand for bond payment again
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal will remain in judicial custody till June 6. On Friday, a court here extended his custody in a defamation case, after he refused to furnish a bond. Kejriwal, who has already spent two nights in Tihar Jail for not paying a personal bond of ~10,000 and a surety of the same amount to a Patiala House court, on Friday rejected a second demand for bond payment by the court.
The court chided Kejriwal for “legal illiteracy” and reiterated it was only following legal procedures. “I will only request you (Kejriwal’s lawyer) to challenge my order if you want. I have already made up my mind,” the judge was quoted as saying. “If other leaders of the party can furnish bonds to secure bail, why can’t Kejriwal do so?” he asked.
An AAP spokesperson said the party might approach a high court on this issue by Monday.
During the hearing on Friday, the judge said, “ Even educated people do not know about legal proceedings as to what bail and a bond are. Being in the position you (Kejriwal) were, I expect you to be sensible,” the judge added.
On Wednesday, Kejriwal was produced before the Patiala House court for “defaming” Bharatiya Janata Party leader Nitin Gadkari as “India’s most corrupt politician”, in a list he had issued on January 31.
When the Magistrate had demanded a personal bond, Kejriwal had said that he was ready to give an undertaking to appear before the court but refused to furnish a bail bond on “principal grounds”.
This led to prompt protests by dozens of AAP volunteers, including senior leaders Yogendra Yadav, Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh. Police arrested around 60 AAP volunteers, who later on took bail.
The party is planning a strategic meeting along with the volunteers to decide the course of action, senior leader Gopal Rai said.
The party had announced on Thursday that he will not hold any protests as it will go door-to-door for an awareness drive related to Kejriwal’s arrest.
The party’s defense and also of Kejriwal’s advocate Prashant Bhushan is that there were at least four precedents in the past where courts have accepted the undertakings given by Kejriwal in similar cases and did not insist on a bail bond. Also, according to the party, “there is no provision in law which makes it mandatory for a defendant against whom a complaint is filed in a defamation case to furnish a bail bond, particularly when he is ready and willing to be present in the court on the fixed date of hearing”.
Kejriwal has come under severe criticism and his actions have been termed as “drama” by the opposition parties.
Re-elections in Delhi almost certain after Kejriwal refutes Bhushan
This, even as BJP's internatal contradictions persist
As Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) made it clear on Tuesday that it would not support the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in forming a government in Delhi, re-polls in the national capital within the next six months look almost certain.
“There is no question of supporting [the] BJP. What Prashant [Bhushan] said yesterday was his personal opinion,” said Kejriwal.
On Monday, Bhushan, a lawyer and founding member of the AAP, had told a private television channel: “If the BJP gives us in writing that it will pass the Jan Lokpal Bill by December 29 and set up ‘Jan Sabhas’ in Delhi as promised by the AAP, we may consider supporting the party.”
Bhushan on Tuesday retracted his statement and said under no circumstances would support be extended to either the Congress or the BJP.
BJP’s internal contradictions
The BJP on Tuesday elected Harsh Vardhan as the leader of the House. Vardhan, who was the chief ministerial candidate of the party, met his 31 legislators on Tuesday and said they had decided to not form a government by breaking any other party.
“We accept we are short of numbers,” Vardhan said, “But we will not indulge in breaking other parties.”
Vardhan’s statement was in-line with what the senior leadership of the BJP has maintained since results were announced. The leadership fears sending a negative signal if any attempt is made by the BJP in breaking either the Congress or the AAP.
However, even as they said this, the party remained tightlipped about what it would do if the Lt Governor Najeeb Jung asked them to try forming the government first – as the BJP is the single largest party with the support of 32 MLAs -- four short of a majority.
Both, Vardhan and Vijay Goel, president of the BJP’s Delhi unit, ducked questions on whether the BJP would try running a minority government. They said a re-election meant loss of tax payers’ money.
The party’s confusion is fuelled by uncertainty within the legislators of the BJP. Privately, these legislators confided that they would prefer the BJP running a minority government than a re-election.
“The party should try forming a government,” said one legislator, “But we will support whatever the party finally decides.”
AAP suffers major blow; Shazia Ilmi, Captain Gopinath quit, slam Arvind Kejriwal
New Delhi: In what could spell more trouble for the Aam Aadmi Party whose chief is in jail, one of its founding members, Shazia Ilmi, and another leader, Captain Gopinath, quit on Saturday.
While announcing her resignation, Ilmi told reporters today that there was a lack of democracy within the party.
"There is lack of inner party democracy within the Aam Aadmi Party. The party which talks about 'Swaraj' has failed to apply it within the party," Ilmi said at a press conference here.
Accusing the party of marginalising her, Ilmi said: "We fight against cronyism but there is a crony clique that runs AAP, who takes the decisions and we are told about it later."
She also clarified that her resignation from the party is not due to the fact that she was asked to contest the Lok Sabha election from Ghaziabad, from where she lost.
She also said the party has lost its direction and needs to introspect and go beyond agitations.
"I am not for jail bharo politics. There is a need to reinvent the AAP, go beyond agitation," Ilmi said while taking a potshot at AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, who is in judicial custody for refusing to pay bail amount in a defamation case. The journalist-turned-politician, who contested Lok Sabha elections from Ghaziabad constituency, even lost her security deposit as she could get just 89,125 votes.
Meanwhile, GR Gopinath, the pioneer of low-cost air travel in India, also quit Aam Admi Party, which is reeling under Lok Sabha poll debacle, citing growing differences with the leadership and its ways and criticised Arvind Kejriwal's recent actions.
Gopinath, who joined AAP in January this year, stressed that he was a great admirer of Anna Hazare and Kejriwal and continues to be so but disagreed with some of the decisions of of the AAP chief saying a head of a party cannot indulge in "shoot and scoot politics".
In a communication to AAP's Karnataka Convenor Prithvi Reddy, he said, "I would like to resign from the membership of the Aam Admi Party with immediate effect because of increasing differences with the party leadership and its ways."
Gopinath said he had "expressed most of my views also in the media including today" and wished "the party well in its future endeavours".
When contacted, Gopinath confirmed the development over phone from Toulouse in France where the headquarters of aircraft manufacturing major, Airbus, is located.
He disagreed with Kejriwal on his refusal to furnish a bail bond in the defamation case filed against him by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari.
Gopinath said it could not be compared to the stand taken by Hazare, who was sent to judicial custody in August 2011 following his arrest during Janlokpal Bill agitation after he refused to sign a personal bond.
Gopinath had founded the first low-cost carrier Air Deccan in 2003, which was taken over by Vijay Mallya and named 'Kingfisher Red' that has now closed down.
In a blog titled 'Has Kejriwal lost his way' today, he criticised the functioning of AAP chief.
He said when Kejriwal took on Robert Vadra on corruption charges, "the BJP loved it and also went in for the kill against the Congress", adding that Kejriwal then took on Nitin Gadkari."Kejriwal was brazen and broke that rule. He went for the jugular. What was rumoured in whispers, he stood up to in public, which made him the darling of the people and the media.... Kejriwal did not stop there. He made allegations against other high and mighty of the land," the blog said.
"It's one thing to gossip about it in private but when one holds a responsible position as head of a political party, one has to take responsibility and not, as some one described it, indulge in shoot and scoot politics, denigrating people's reputation, however credible the rumours may seem and however tempting the chance to score brownie points or capture media attention and public sympathy as a crusader against corruption," Gopinath said in the blog.
Referring to the defamation case, he said Kejriwal committed a mistake by not appearing in court.
"His lawyers argued he was busy with elections and pleaded for time. That was the first mistake. If one has time to accuse some one, then one must also find the time to appear in court and defend oneself and not only present evidence to prove the allegations but also press charges for prosecution," he said.
Noting that Kejriwal refused to furnish a bail bond pleading that he had not committed any crime as his action was political, he termed it as "convoluted logic".
"His actions of naming high profile politicians or businessmen may have a worthy political cause of exposing corruption in government and crony capitalism, but it cannot by any stretch of imagination be equated with political activism," he said.
Gopinath had joined the party in January stating that "Kejriwal's AAP is seen transforming that hope of Anna's fight against corruption into action."
He had however openly slammed the decision of the AAP government in Delhi to reject FDI in retail, saying the party is "running in danger" of being branded like other parties of resorting to cheap and populist measures.
Delhi BJP chief and the newly-elected MP from Chandni Chowk, Dr Harsh Vardhan, took a jibe, saying that any AAP member, who comes to know even 10 percent of the party's real face, will quit.
Ashwini Upadhyay, who was expelled by the AAP last month due to "anti-party activities", meanwhile, said soon no one will be left in the party except Kejriwal, Sisodia,Yogendra Yadav, Sanjay Singh and their sycophants.