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SC to deliver verdict on Arvind Kejriwal's bail plea today

A bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta had reserved its verdict on Kejriwal's interim bail plea on May 7. Kejriwal, also the national convenor of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), is currently in judicial custody at Tihar jail.

News Arena Network - New Delhi - UPDATED: May 9, 2024, 07:13 PM - 3 mins read

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

SC to deliver verdict on Arvind Kejriwal's bail plea today

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. File photo.


The Supreme Court is expected to announce its verdict today regarding the interim bail plea of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was arrested on March 21 by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case linked to the alleged liquor policy scam.

 

Kejriwal is seeking release from jail to campaign for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

 

A bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta had reserved its verdict on Kejriwal's interim bail plea on May 7. Kejriwal, also the national convenor of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), is currently in judicial custody at Tihar jail.

 

The bench has bifurcated the hearing on Kejriwal's petition into two parts. While the primary petition challenges his arrest by the central probe agency and seeks its declaration as "illegal," the secondary aspect concerns the grant of interim bail, considering the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

 

The Delhi High Court had earlier upheld Kejriwal's arrest on April 9, stating that there was no illegality and that the probe agency was left with "little option" after he repeatedly skipped summonses and refused to join the investigation related to alleged irregularities in the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy 2021-22.

 

Recently, a Delhi court extended Kejriwal's judicial custody in the money laundering case until May 20.

 

The ED, in opposition to Kejriwal's petition, filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court on Thursday, asserting that laws apply equally to all and that campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls is not a fundamental, constitutional, or legal right.

 

The probe agency contended that no political leader has ever been granted bail for campaigning and allowing Kejriwal out of jail to canvass for AAP candidates would set a wrong precedent.

 

Underlining the principle of equality before the law, the ED highlighted that campaigning is not a fundamental, constitutional, or legal right. 

 

Additionally, the agency argued that if interim bail is granted to Kejriwal for campaigning, it would open the floodgates for similar requests from other politicians.

SC's last hearing on Arvind Kejriwal's bail

In the last hearing, the Supreme Court had said it was not going by whether the petitioner is a politician or not. The focus, the bench headed by Justice Sanjiv Khanna said, was on whether there was an exceptional circumstance which necessitated interim bail.

 

The Supreme Court also said that Arvind Kejriwal is the elected chief minister of Delhi and is not a habitual offender.

 

"There are elections... these are extraordinary circumstances and he is not a habitual offender," the bench had said.

 

The bench also asked the ED why it took them two years to act against the chief minister and his party.

 

"The issue is that it has taken two years for this. It is not good for any investigating agency to say that it takes two years to unearth... now when will the trial start," it asked.

 

All seven seats in Delhi will vote in the sixth phase of the seven-phased Lok Sabha elections on May 25.

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