New Delhi: Social activist and Aam Aadmi Party co-founder Arvind Kejriwal and other members of his political party on Tuesday said they would prefer going behind the bars than asking for bail in the case of their protest before the PM's house over the coal scam last year.
The statement came after they were summoned to appear in court on Tuesday for the case that accuses them of defying police orders in protesting before the Prime Minister's house here in August last year.
"If they ask for jail or bail, we will go to jail," said Kejriwal.
He said, "The government is acting as if we are the one who stole the coal. No one has been taken to task so far in the coal scam."
The co-founder of the party, lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan told reporters at court this morning, "We will prefer jail to bail. The protest in August was peaceful and the police has wrongly accused us of inciting violence. This has become a political tool... the court can see the video and decide today whether charges levelled against us are fair."
"We protested against Coal scam. Govt has filed a case against us. Recd court summons to appear tomo," Kejriwal tweeted last night.
"The government has slapped several charges against us. All false. We will confess violating section 144 and would invite punishment. Rest charges are bogus," he added.
"It wud [would] be interesting. Those who stole India's coal roaming free. Those who protested against the theft, wud [would] they be in jail?," remarked Kejriwal via Twitter.
In August last year, Kejriwal and his aides demonstrated a protest leading to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's home demanding his resignation over an alleged coal scam, called 'Coalgate scam'.
The protest was the result of the report by the government's Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) that said the country lost upto Rs 1.856 lakh crores since coal fields were allotted to private firms without adequate transparency.
It was also reported that the Prime Minister held direct charge of the Coal Ministry for the period in question.