Supreme Court Considers Interim Bail for Kejriwal Amid OngoingElections

The Supreme Court is considering granting interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has been in judicial custody since March 21 in the Delhi excise policy case. The court has asked the Enforcement Directorate to propose potential conditions for Kejriwal's interim bail, citing the ongoing 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

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Supreme Court Considers Interim Bail for Kejriwal Amid OngoingElections

Supreme Court Considers Interim Bail for Kejriwal Amid OngoingElections

The Supreme Court is deliberating on whether to grant interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has been in judicial custody since March 21 in connection with the Delhi excise policy case. The court's consideration comes in the midst of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, with Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta acknowledging that the hearing on Kejriwal's plea challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) could be lengthy.

Why this matters: The outcome of Kejriwal's bail plea has significant implications for the political scenario of India, particularly in the context of the 2024 Lok Sabhaelections. The ruling could influence the electoral prospects of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and shape the discourse surrounding the elections.

During Friday's hearing, Justice Sanjiv Khanna stressed the significance of liberty, stating, "Liberty is exceedingly important, you can't deny that. The last question is concerning the timing of the arrest, which they have pointed out, just before the general elections." The court also requested the ED to clarify the time gap between the start of proceedings and the subsequent filing of repeated complaints.

The court expressed its inclination to entertain a request for interim bail for Kejriwal, given the ongoing elections. Justice Khanna remarked,"This case may take time. But if the case takes time, we may consider the question of interim bail, because of the elections. Let's be very clear on that ... Please be considerate, both sides. "The bench also asked the ED to propose potential conditions for Kejriwal's interim bail, such as whether he should be permitted to sign files as Chief Minister.

Kejriwal's arrest by the ED on March 21 was related to alleged corruption and money laundering in the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped excise policy for 2021-22 by the Delhi government. On April 9, the Delhi High Court upheld Kejriwal's arrest, finding no illegality and stating that the ED had "little option" after he repeatedly failed to appear for summonses and refused to cooperate with the investigation.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Senior Advocate representing Kejriwal, contended that there was no new evidence to warrant his arrest and that all the evidence had been available since July 2023. He highlighted that Kejriwal had responded to nine ED summonses and that failure to appear cannot justify an arrest. SV Raju, Additional Solicitor General representing the ED, argued that the decision to arrest Kejriwal was not solely made by the investigating officer but was also supported by a special judge.

The Supreme Court's deliberation on interim bail for Kejriwal carries significant implications for both the ongoing investigation and the political scenario leading up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Chief Minister of Delhi, Kejriwal's arrest and potential release on interim bail could impact the party's campaigning efforts and electoral prospects. The court's decision to hear the matter again on May 7 leaves the question of Kejriwal's interim bail unresolved for now.

The nation awaits the outcome of this high-profile case, and the interplay between legal proceedings and political considerations will continue to shape the discourse surrounding the 2024 elections. The Supreme Court's ultimate ruling on Kejriwal's interim bail will not only determine his personal fate but also have far-reaching consequences for the political scenario of India.

Key Takeaways

  • Supreme Court considers interim bail for Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal in excise policy case.
  • Kejriwal's arrest and potential release may impact AAP's 2024 Lok Sabha election prospects.
  • Court expresses inclination to grant interim bail due to ongoing elections.
  • ED to propose conditions for Kejriwal's interim bail, including restrictions on CM duties.
  • Next hearing scheduled for May 7, with outcome to have significant implications for Indian politics.