Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday told the Delhi High Court that he had not yet decided whether he would pursue his case against a trial court decision sending him to jail in a defamation case filed by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.
The Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) convenor, Kejriwal informed the HC that advocate Prashant Bhushan was not representing him any more so he needed more time to decide on the issue.
“Whether we will pursue the matter or not, has not been decided yet,” Kejriwal’s counsel said, adding that some other senior counsel would be engaged and then only the CM would be able to inform the court.
Kejriwal’s counsel, meanwhile, requested the court to adjourn the matter. The court fixed the matter for further consideration on May 26.
On April 17, the Supreme court had stayed Kejriwal’s prosecution in two criminal defamation cases, including the one filed by Gadkari, and also sought a reply from the Centre on the CM’s plea challenging constitutional validity of the penal provisions.
The submission by Kejriwal’s counsel came in the backdrop of the court’s February 23 query whether Kejriwal is still interested in pursuing his case.
Kejriwal had challenged May 21 and 23 last year orders of a magisterial court remanding him in judicial custody for not furnishing a bail bond in the criminal defamation complaint filed by Gadkari, saying it was not mandatory and he should have been allowed to give a written undertaking instead.
Senior advocate Geeta Luthra and advocate Balendu Shekhar, appearing for Gadkari, had said that normally habeas corpus does not lie in the judicial order.
The court, however, had refused to say anything on the maintainability of the petition and had posted the matter for hearing for Monday.