A day after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal refused to furnish a personal bond and preferred to go to Tihar Jail, senior party leader Yogendra Yadav on Thursday did just the opposite.
Arrested on Wednesday for violating prohibitory orders during the protests against Kejriwal’s arrest, Yadav agreed to furnish a personal bond of Rs. 5,000 before metropolitan magistrate Ekta Gauba to secure his release.
He wasn’t the first AAP member to do so either. All 59 party workers arrested during the protest took bail at the Hari Nagar police station earlier in the day. Yadav had agreed to post a personal bond at the police station, but since he refused to furnish a surety of the amount, he had to be produced in court.
On Wednesday, Kejriwal was sent to jail by a Delhi court in a criminal defamation case filed by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari, after the former Delhi CM refused to furnish a personal bond of `10,000, saying it was “against his principles.”
The AAP chief is looking to resurrect his party’s flagging electoral fortunes after drawing a blank in the Capital and NCR during the recently-concluded Lok Sabha polls.
Yadav himself came fourth in Gurgaon. Before his arrest, Kejriwal also apologised on Wednesday for quitting the Delhi government within 49 days.
When asked about the party’s change of stance on the issue of furnishing bail, AAP leader and Yadav’s advocate Prashant Bhushan told HT, “There is no comparison between the two cases. Yadav was arrested by the police. According to the judge, there was no other correct procedure to be released from custody, though we disagree.”
“Kejriwal, on the other hand, was summoned and his attendance was required in court, which he did. The party disagrees with the court’s insistence for a surety bond since there was no apprehension of his not appearing on the dates of hearing,” Bhushan added.
Away from the bustle, Kejriwal spent a quiet morning behind bars on Thursday, said Tihar authorities. He enjoyed a prolonged morning walk and kept to himself before requesting to be served some tea in ward 14 of jail number four, sources added.
During Thursday’s hearing, counsels for AAP Kamini Jaiswal and Prashant Bhushan argued that Yadav had been arrested illegally as the police did not announce the prohibition order as per the law.
The court, however, refused to be drawn into the argument, saying “this was not the proper stage to judge legality or illegality of the FIR.”
AAP said it would approach a higher court if the lower court’s decision goes against Kejriwal during Friday’s hearing. The party has also announced that it will start a door-to-door campaign about why its leader sought to go to jail. Further course of action would be decided at a volunteers meet soon after the court’s decision.
(with inputs from HTC, Delhi)