Supreme court to weigh interim bail for Kejriwal amid Lok Sabha elections; Hearing scheduled for May 7

The Supreme Court requested the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to formulate interim bail terms for Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, in case bail is granted to him due to the upcoming elections.

Shantanu Poswal
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Courtesy: ANI

The Supreme Court informed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that it might consider interim bail for Arvind Kejriwal in light of the upcoming elections. The court directed the ED counsel to be prepared on this matter for the hearing scheduled for Tuesday (May 7). Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta, part of the bench, emphasised the need for transparency, stating, “We may grant or we may not grant. But we must be open to you, as neither side should be taken by surprise." The court cautioned against assuming that bail would be automatically granted and requested that the ED propose potential conditions if interim bail were to be approved for the Delhi chief minister. Additionally, it prompted the ED to assess whether Kejriwal should continue signing files given his position.

Justice Khanna stated, “Please also take instructions; we are not saying anything (on whether bail will be granted or not) - we would like to consider the grant of interim bail because of the elections. Dr. Singhvi don't start without even hearing us; we may or may not grant. We are going to hear you. We must be open to you, because neither side should be taken by surprise. Second, because of the position you (Kejriwal) hold, should you be signing any files? We are being open; do not assume anything. Do not read anything into it! We are not saying either way."

Arvind Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 by the ED in connection with a money laundering case related to Delhi's now-defunct excise policy. All his previous bail pleas have been denied, and the BJP has been calling for his resignation from the chief minister's post. While Kejriwal continued in his role, his wife Sunita Kejriwal actively participated in the Aam Aadmi Party's election campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections.

On the same day, the Delhi High Court dismissed a petition challenging the arrest of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the money laundering case linked to the excise policy scam, deeming it inadmissible. The high court pointed out that Kejriwal had the means and ability to approach the court for appropriate legal proceedings.

“The present writ petition, which effectively challenges the arrest of the national convenor of AAP, is not maintainable as the said person is in judicial custody in pursuance to judicial orders, which are not a subject matter of the present petition. The petition conspicuously fails to name the person, though the identity is apparent due to the references made to his political standing/position,” highlighted a bench consisting of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet PS Arora.