Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Shishodia

New Delhi, March 15: A court Saturday imposed a fine of Rs.2,500 each on former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his AAP colleague Manish Sisodia after they failed to appear in a defamation case filed against them by Communications Minister Kapil Sibal’s son Amit. Metropolitan Magistrate Sunil Kumar Sharma allowed the two Aam Aadmi Party leaders exemption from personal appearance as he levied the fine.

Kejriwal’s counsel informed court that he is busy in Lok Sabha election campaigning in Bangalore while Sisodia had to rush to Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi as party leader Kumar Vishwas and other members sustained injuries after some people allegedly attacked them there.

The court, meanwhile granted bail to AAP leaders Prashant Bhushan and Shazia Ilmi after they gave a undertaking that they will appear in court in every fixed date of hearing. The court was hearing a defamation suit filed against Kejriwal and others by Amit Sibal, following a May 15, 2013 press conference of Kejriwal in which he alleged conflict of interest, saying Sibal had appeared in the Supreme Court for telecom firm Vodafone while his father was the communications minister.

The Supreme Court on Feb 7 issued notice to Kejriwal on a petition challenging a Delhi High Court order in a defamation case against him and stayed the operation of the high court order that had permitted Kejriwal to approach the lower court for his discharge. While requesting the exemption, Kejriwal’s counsel requested the court to take up the matter after apex court hearing fixed for April 9. The trial court then fixed the matter for hearing on April 19.