New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, accused of giving false information in an affidavit filed in run up to 2013 assembly polls, was directed on Wednesday to appear before a Delhi court on December 24 which granted him a day’s exemption from personal appearance. Metropolitan Magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria directed the AAP leader to personally appear before the court on the next date of hearing, considering that bail proceedings were pending.
“Considering that bail proceedings are pending, therefore accused (Kejriwal) is directed to appear in the court on next date of hearing for bail/miscellaneous proceedings… Put up for bail/miscellaneous proceedings, appearance of the accused and arguments on framing of notice on December 24,” the court said.
The court allowed exemption to Kejriwal, noting the submission made by his counsel that the politician could not appear in the court due to “exigencies of work and some important meetings and discharge of his duties”.
In the application seeking exemption for today, advocate Rishikesh Kumar also claimed that there was no absolute necessity for personal attendance of the accused and that the proceedings could go on unhampered in his absence, without any prejudice to the complainant Maulik Bharat Trust, an NGO.
Advocate Rahul Raj Malik, appearing for the complainant, opposed the application, saying “it was filed by Kejriwal to undermine the majesty of justice and the accused himself being the part of the legislative body, was trying to evade from law and the law for every person was the same”.
The court had summoned Kejriwal in February this year on a criminal complaint filed by Neeraj Saxena and Anuj Agarwal on behalf of the NGO, noting that the politician had prima facie “willfully concealed” and “suppressed” the details. It had noted that there was “sufficient ground” to proceed against him on allegations that he had concealed his correct address and suppressed the market value of his property in his affidavit to the Election Commission.
Earlier, the NGO had approached Delhi High Court with a plea seeking quashing of Kejriwal’s nomination papers on the ground of “illegalities” in his affidavit. High Court had refused to entertain the plea and directed the petitioners to approach a magisterial court for remedy.
The NGO in its petition before the high court had alleged that Kejriwal had violated provisions of the Representation of the People Act by submitting an affidavit which had incorrect details of his assets and income at the time of filing of the nomination. The offence under section 125-A of the Act entails a punishment of six months’ jail term and/or fine or both.
The complaint was filed under several sections of RP Act and IPC for the alleged offences committed by him before holding the office of the Chief Minister of Delhi. The complaint alleged that Kejriwal falsely gave the address of Delhi so as to qualify for contesting the polls in the capital though he was living at Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. This prima facie amounted to wilful concealment, suppression and furnishing of false information, the complainants claimed.