A Delhi court today issued fresh non-bailable warrant (NBW) against Congress MP Mohd Azharrudin saying he is "deliberately" avoiding appearance before it in connection with a cheque-bouncing case.
Metropolitan Magistrate Vikrant Vaid issued the NBW for March 7, while dismissing a plea made on behalf of Azhar to exempt the cricketer-turned-politician from personal appearance in the court on the ground that he was busy in poll campaigning in the ongoing Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
"He (Azharrudin) is deliberately not appearing before the court," said the MM as Azhar's counsel said his client is busy in the poll campaigning.
The counsel appearing for the former Indian cricket team captain moved the court seeking stay / cancellation of the NBW issued against him on February 18 and sought exemption from personal appearance for Thursday.
"The applicant (Azhar) is the star campaigner of the Indian National Congress party, which is already notified to the Election Commission also and is still under command to perform and participate in the said campaign, which makes the applicant as one of the essential persons in the entire process," the application said seeking adjournment of the matter for his appearance after March 3.
His counsel said Azhar was not avoiding appearance before the court deliberately as he had not volunteered to be in the list of campaigners which was prepared by the Congress party.
The magistrate, however, said the court has nothing to do with the fact that Azharrudin was the star campaigner of his party.
"This (being the star campaigner) is between you (Azhar) and the party. The court has nothing to do with it," Vaid said.
According to the complaint against Azhar, he wanted to sell his Mumbai-based property worth around Rs 4.5 crore, jointly owned by him and his estranged wife Sangeeta Bijlani.
The complainant Sanjay Solanki, a Delhi-based businessman, approached Azhar to purchase the property and the deal was finalised after which Solanki paid Rs 1.5 crore in advance to Azhar.
But after some time, due to some marital dispute, Azhar refused to sell the property and agreed to pay the money back to Solanki as per the agreement.
Azhar issued a cheque of Rs 1.5 crore to Solanki in 2008 but it was dishonoured by the bank, the complainant said.
Solanki approached Azhar again after which the MP issued a fresh cheque to him in 2009. The second cheque too was dishonoured following which Azhar apologised to Solanki and in 2010 he issued another cheque to the businessman which too was dishonoured by the bank, Solanki said, adding he then approached a court.