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Election 2024

AAP office in Delhi erupts with celebration: Kejriwal out of Tihar Jail as granted bail by the SC

In a jubilant scene at the AAP office, supporters clad in yellow T-shirts danced to the rhythm of dhol beats, celebrating the Supreme Court's decision to grant interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a money laundering case.

News Arena Network - New Delhi - UPDATED: May 10, 2024, 07:36 AM - 10 mins read

Delhi's CM and AAP Leader Arvind Kejriwal Walks Out of Tihar Jail.

AAP office in Delhi erupts with celebration: Kejriwal out of Tihar Jail as granted bail by the SC

Delhi's CM and AAP Leader Arvind Kejriwal Walks Out of Tihar Jail.


Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal walked out of Tihar Jail on Friday, hours after the Supreme Court granted him interim bail till June 1.

 

Workers and leaders of his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had gathered outside the prison complex to welcome him.

 

Kejriwal left from Tihar in his convoy. He was accompanied by his wife Sunita Kejriwal, his daughter Harshita and AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sandeep Pathak.

In a major relief to the AAP national convenor, the Supreme Court on Friday granted him interim bail till June 1 to campaign for the ongoing Lok Sabha election.

 

Arrested in a money laundering case linked to the alleged Delhi excise policy scam, Kejriwal will have to surrender and go back to prison on June 2.

 

June 1 is the last day of the seven-phase Lok Sabha election. Votes will be counted on June 4. 

 

The Supreme Court on Friday granted him interim bail in a money laundering case at the peak of the election season but barred him from visiting his office or the Delhi secretariat and signing official files unless necessary for obtaining the lieutenant governor's approval.

 

The fourth phase of polling will be held on May 13.

 

A wave of jubilation swept across the INDIA bloc parties as the news spread like wildfire, with his AAP terming it a "triumph of truth".

 

"Truth can be troubled but not defeated. The decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court is welcome. The dictatorship will end. Satyamev Jayate," AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, also an accused in the money laundering case, said in a post in Hindi on X.

 

"Hanuman ji ki jai. This is the victory of democracy. It is the result of the prayers and blessings of millions of people. Many thanks to everyone," Kejriwal's wife Sunita, who was filling in for her husband during his absence from the electoral battleground, said in a post on X in Hindi.

 

Kejriwal's release from jail, however transient, is expected to give a boost to the AAP's Lok Sabha campaign in Delhi where polling is scheduled for May 25, with its foremost leader hitting the hustings.

 

While imposing a string of bail conditions on Kejriwal, the apex court directed him to furnish bail bonds of Rs 50,000 with one surety of the like amount to the satisfaction of the jail superintendent.

 

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta rejected the vehement argument of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) counsel that enlarging Kejriwal on interim bail to campaign in the elections will be without a precedent.

 

The court did not concur with his contention that interim bail to the AAP national convenor for campaigning would be like giving a "premium of placing the politicians in a benefic position compared to ordinary citizens of this country".

 

"While examining the question of grant of interim bail/release, the courts always take into consideration the peculiarities associated with the person in question and the surrounding circumstances. To ignore the same would be iniquitous and wrong," the bench said, adding that the Lok Sabha elections are the "most significant and important event this year".

 

The bench said no doubt, serious accusations have been made, but Kejriwal has not been convicted yet, does not have any criminal antecedents and is "not a threat to the society".

 

It noted that more importantly, the legality and validity of his arrest itself was under challenge before the top court which is yet to finally pronounce its verdict on it.

 

"The factual situation cannot be compared with the harvesting of crops or a plea to look after business affairs. In this background, once the matter is subjudice and the questions relating to the legality of arrest are under consideration, a more holistic and libertarian view is justified, in the background that the 18th Lok Sabha General Elections are being held," the bench said.

 

Ruling that Kejriwal's case is "not an exception", the bench said the power to grant interim bail is commonly exercised in several cases and interim bail is granted keeping in mind the facts of each case.

"For the aforesaid reasons, we direct that the appellant – Arvind Kejriwal will be released on interim bail in connection with case… till June 1, 2024, that is, he will surrender on June 2, 2024, on the following terms and conditions…," the bench said, adding, "he shall not visit the office of the Chief Minister and the Delhi secretariat".

"He (Kejriwal) shall be bound by the statement made on his behalf that he shall not sign official files unless it is required and necessary for obtaining clearance/approval of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi," the court said.

 

Kejriwal will not make any comment with regard to his role in the case and will not interact with any of the witnesses or have access to any official files connected with the case, the bench directed.

 

The top court said the ongoing Lok Sabha elections have prompted the consideration of interim bail to Kejriwal as at this stage, it is not possible for the court to either conclude the arguments or finally pronounce the verdict on his plea challenging his arrest.

 

"As the appeal is pending before us, we do not think it would be proper for us to direct the appellant - Arvind Kejriwal to approach the trial court for interim bail/release. This may not be apt given the legal issues and contentions that are under examination and consideration before us," it said.

 

"Between 650-700 million voters out of an electorate of about 970 million will cast their votes to elect the government of this country for the next five years. General Elections supply the vis viva (energy) to a democracy," it said, underlining the importance of the Lok Sabha elections.

 

The bench said the ED has rightly pointed out that Kejriwal had failed to appear despite nine notices/summons, the first of which was issued in October 2023.

 

"This is a negative factor, but there are several other facets which we are required to take into consideration," it said, adding that Kejriwal is the chief minister and leader of one of the national parties.

 

The bench noted the investigation in the case has remained pending since August 2022 and Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 this year.

 

The apex court said the grant of interim bail will not be treated as an expression of opinion on the merits of the case or the criminal appeal which is pending its consideration.

 

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hailed Kejriwal's release on interim bail. "I am very happy to see that Shri Arvind Kejriwal @ArvindKejriwal has got interim bail. It will be very helpful in the context of the current elections," she posted on X.

 

NCP (SP) chief Sharad Pawar also welcomed the apex court's decision. “I welcome the interim bail order granted to the chief minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal by the SC. India remains steadfast in the pursuit of democracy,” Pawar wrote on X.

 

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray said justice and relief to Kejriwal against the “dictatorial regime” in the country was a huge sign of winds of change.

The apex court is hearing Kejriwal's plea challenging the Delhi High Court's verdict last month upholding his arrest in the case. He had not applied for interim bail.

 

The bench said arguments on Kejriwal's plea against his arrest will continue next week and it will try to pronounce the judgement on the petition before the summer vacations start on 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.


In a jubilant scene at the AAP office, supporters clad in yellow T-shirts danced to the rhythm of dhol beats, celebrating the Supreme Court's decision to grant interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a money laundering case.

 

The air resonated with slogans like "Jail ke taale toot gaye, Kejriwal ji choot gaye," and "Modi ji ja rahe hain, Kejriwal ji aa rahe hain," expressing their joy at the news.

 

The Supreme Court's decision came as a major relief to Kejriwal and the AAP, allowing him interim bail till June 1 for campaigning in the Lok Sabha elections. However, the bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Dipankar Datta mandated that Kejriwal surrender and return to jail on June 2.

 

Describing the interim bail as a divine intervention, AAP leaders hailed it as a blessing from Lord Hanuman to his devotee Kejriwal. Senior AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj expressed optimism, stating that Kejriwal's release would herald significant changes in the country's political landscape.

 

The party's office buzzed with excitement as leaders like Gopal Rai, Sanjay Singh, Atishi, and Sunita Kejriwal, the Chief Minister's wife, welcomed the development. Many supporters displayed posters bearing slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reflecting their fervour for the AAP leader's cause.

 

The timing of Kejriwal's interim bail aligns with the upcoming seventh phase of Lok Sabha elections scheduled for June 1, with the votes set to be counted on June 4. The decision grants Kejriwal the opportunity to actively participate in the electoral process during this crucial period.

 

The atmosphere at the AAP office was one of optimism and hope, as supporters celebrated not just Kejriwal's legal reprieve but also the prospect of significant political shifts on the horizon.

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