NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court today asked Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal whether he is still interested in pursuing his case against a trial court decision sending him to jail in a defamation case filed by Union minister Nitin Gadkari.
"Are you still interested in pursuing the case? I think, now there is nothing left in it," justices Sanjiv Khanna and Ashutosh Kumar said after the counsel for Kejriwal sought adjournment in the matter.
The bench further said that you (Kejriwal) have already furnished his bail bond in the case.
"Once the bail bond has been furnished, the petition is infructuous," the court added.
The court's oral observation came during hearing of AAP chief Kejriwal's plea whether it is correct to seek bail bonds and sureties from people who are summoned by courts on complaints filed in cases like that of criminal defamation.
Kejriwal has 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, said that normally habeas corpus does not lie in the judicial order.
The court, however, refused to say anything on the maintainability of the petition and said that it will hear it on April 27.
On July 31 last year, the high court had suggested Gadkari and Kejriwal to "bury" the hatchet over the alleged statement made by the AAP leader and "shake hands" with each other in larger "public interest".
On January 30, 2014 Kejriwal had made an allegedly defamatory statement against Gadkari in the media.
The chief minister had refused to furnish a personal bail bond on the issue saying common people should not be subjected to harassment on technical grounds in courts of law in petty cases.
He has, in his plea, said the magisterial order sending him to judicial custody was "illegal" as it was based on a "completely wrong premise of law".
He had, subsequently, moved the high court against the magisterial order. However, on the high court's suggestion he had sought bail from the lower court.
The lower court has put Kejriwal on trial on charges of defamation.
The court had framed the charge after Kejriwal refused to heed to the magistrate's suggestion to amicably resolve the case filed against him by Gadkari, even after the Union minister indicated that if the AAP leader was ready to withdraw his alleged defamatory statement he would drop his complaint.