States & UTs

    Delhi excise policy case: SC may pass order on interim bail to Kejriwal on Friday

    The Hawk
    May8/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    The Supreme Court may grant interim bail to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal in a money laundering case tied to the Delhi excise policy. Despite ED opposition, the decision, affecting his election campaigning but barring official duties, is expected by May 10.

    Arvind Kejriwal Delhi

    New Delhi: The Supreme Court said on Wednesday that it may pass an order on May 10 on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's interim bail in the money laundering case registered against him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the Delhi excise policy case.
    As a bench headed by Justice Sanjiv Khanna was rising for the day, it told Enforcement Directorate counsel Additional Solicitor General SV Raju that it may pass the order on interim relief to Kejriwal on Friday.

    On Tuesday, the bench had hinted at granting interim bail to Kejriwal to enable him to campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
    However, it had also said that if interim bail is granted, Kejriwal would not be allowed to discharge any official duties as Chief Minister.
    ED had opposed this in the top court which was hearing arguments on interim bail to Kejriwal.
    Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, also representing ED, on earlier hearing told the bench that there can't be any deviation only because Kejriwal is Chief Minister and asked if Supreme Court is carving out exception for politicians?

    "How can a Chief Minister be treated differently from an aam aadmi. There can't be any deviation only because he is a Chief Minister. Would campaigning for elections be more important?" he had told the bench.
    To this, the bench had said that elections are held once in five years.
    Solicitor General then said, "We are dealing with the Chief Minister of capital and he has evaded summons for six months. Please do not make an exception as it would demoralise a real common man and it shows that if you are holding a position then you will get benefit. "
    Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Kejriwal had challenged a Delhi High Court judgement which dismissed his plea against arrest by the ED and his subsequent remand in the excise policy case.
    Kejriwal, while filing an appeal in the apex court had contended that his arrest after announcement of the General Elections is "motivated by extraneous considerations".
    On April 9, the High Court had dismissed his plea for release from jail and rejected his argument of political vendetta amid the looming Lok Sabha elections.

    The High Court had said that Kejriwal's absence from nine ED summons over six months undermined any claims of special privilege as Chief Minister, suggesting his arrest was an inevitable consequence of his non-cooperation.
    Kejriwal was arrested by ED on March 21 in connection with a money laundering probe relating to alleged irregularities in the now-cancelled Delhi excise policy 2021-22.