Defamation case: Court issues bailable warrant against Shazia Ilmi

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New Delhi, May 24: A Delhi Court on Saturday issued a bailable warrant against Shazia Ilmi, who quit Aam Aadmi Party during the day, for her non-appearance in a defamation case filed by outgoing Telecom minister Kapil Sibal's son Amit.

The court had last month warned of coercive measures against AAP national convener and former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and other leaders Manish Sisodia, Prashant Bhushan and Shazia Ilmi after they had failed to appear before it in the matter. Ilmi, however, quit the party today alleging lack of "inner party democracy".

Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Sunil Kumar Sharma issued the bailable warrant against Ilmi after she did not turn up again despite summons issued earlier. "Issue bailable warrant in the sum of Rs 5,000 against Shazia Ilmi," the magistrate said. Advocate Prashant Bhushan was present in the court. The court, however, allowed the exemption application of Sisodia for today and did not impose any cost on him on the ground that his father passed away on May 22.

The warrant was issued for Ilmi's non-appearance in a defamation case

Meanwhile, the court asked former Union law minister and senior counsel Shanti Bhushan, appearing for Arvind Kejriwal, who is in judicial custody in another case till June 6, to file an appropriate exemption application and ensure his presence on August 23, the next date of hearing. "In all civil matters, the trial proceeds without the presence of the accused," Bhushan said, while seeking exemption on behalf of Kejriwal.

The AAP chief was remanded in judicial custody till June 6 and is lodged in Tihar jail after he refused to submit a bail bond in another defamation case filed against him by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari. Advocate Mohit Mathur, appearing for Amit Sibal, today opposed the pleas of the accused saying, "This has become a habit. We have travelled three months but we are still at the same stage. If they seek exemption, then at least the due legal process shall continue."

Mathur sought issuance of production warrant for Kejriwal which the court refused. The court also directed that all the accused shall remain present before it on the next date of hearing. The court had on July 24 last year summoned Kejriwal, Sisodia, Prashant and Ilmi on the criminal defamation suit filed by Amit, who is a lawyer, in which he had alleged that the AAP leaders had said that he had taken advantage of his father's position to represent a telecom company in court cases here.

PTI

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