New Delhi, May 21 (IANS): Former Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was on Wednesday sent to two-day judicial custody by a court here after he refused to furnish a personal bail bond in a defamation case filed by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari.
Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha fixed Friday as the next date of hearing.
Manocha asked Kejriwal to furnish a bail bond of Rs.10,000 but the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader refused to.
Kejriwal was summoned by the court for describing former Bharatiya Janata Party president as a "corrupt" person.
Earlier, Kejriwal told the court he would not furnish a bail bond as the case was a political one.
Instead, he promised to give an undertaking to appear before the court at every hearing.
"I am fighting against corruption. I will not seek bail as I have not done anything wrong," he said.
His counsel told the court that in earlier defamation cases against him, Kejriwal was granted bail on the undertaking that he would appear before the court at every hearing.
Counsel added that Kejriwal would not flee from justice.
"I completely agree but what is the problem with furnishing a bail bond?" asked the judge.
The judge said furnishing a bail bond was a process of law and told Kejriwal that he was seeking different treatment.
"You are representing the Aam Aadmi Party. I request you to behave as an aam aadmi (common man)," the court said.
"This not a case where the accused, due to financial inability, is unable to furnish bail bonds. The accused is just adamant to not furnish bail bonds or even a personal bond for his appearance before the court," the court said.
The judge said the procedure of the court cannot be thrown to the winds at the whims and fancies of the litigants.
"The court cannot act as a 'mute spectator' when a particular litigant intentionally seeks to violate the procedure established by law. This case cannot be dealt differently than other criminal cases where the courts insist on furnishing bail bonds/personal bonds to secure the presence of the accused persons," the judge said.
"The accused in the present case cannot seek preferential treatment to be let off only on an oral undertaking in violation or divergence to the settled practice or procedure regarding bail."
In this circumstance, the judge said, as the accused (Kejriwal) refused to furnish bail bond or even personal bond, this court was constrained to take the accused into custody.
"Let the accused (Kejriwal) be sent to judicial custody and be produced before the court May 23," the judge said.
Gadkari's lawyer opposed Kejriwal's plea.
Gadkari's complaint said that Jan 31, when he was Delhi's chief minister, Kejriwal released a list of "India's most corrupt" people and it included his name.
Gadkari told the court that "false, baseless, scandalous, defamatory statements" by Kejriwal against him had lowered his dignity.