SC grants interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal till June 1


NEW DELHI, MAY 10: Supreme Court, in what may be called a major relief to Delhi chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, In a major relief to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, granted him interim bail till June 1 for campaigning in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.

He will have to surrender and go back to jail on June 2, said a bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta.  

Kejriwal was arrested in a money laundering case linked to the alleged excise policy scam.

The bench refused the request of senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for Kejriwal, that the interim bail be granted till June 5.

June 1 is the last day of the seven-phase elections. The votes will be counted on June 4.

The court said reasons for granting Kejriwal interim bail will follow.

The court also rejected opposition from Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Additional Solicitor General S V Raju to the granting of interim bail to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief on grounds of poll campaigning saying no such precedents are available.

Kejriwal’s interim bail for 21 days will not make much of a difference, the bench observed, adding that the ED’s ECIR (Enforcement Case Information Report) was registered in August 2022 while the Chief Minister was arrested on March 21 this year.

“He (Kejriwal) was out there for one-and-a-half-years. He could have been arrested earlier or after but nothing such thing happened,” the bench observed.

As the law officers urged the court to impose bail conditions, including that Kejriwal will not say anything regarding the excise policy case, the bench said the conditions will be similar to those imposed on AAP leader Sanjay Singh, who was given bail last month in connection with the case.

The apex court is hearing Kejriwal’s plea challenging the Delhi High Court’s decision last month upholding his arrest in the case relating to alleged corruption and money laundering . The bench said arguments on Kejriwal’s plea against the arrest will continue next week and it will try to pronounce the judgment on the petition before the summer vacations starting May 20.

The matter relates to alleged corruption and money laundering in the formulation and execution of the Delhi government’s now-scrapped excise policy for 2021-22.