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Judiciary

May consider question for grant of interim bail to Kejriwal, SC to ED

By Jhanak Singh      03 May, 2024 07:08 PM      0 Comments
May consider question for grant of interim bail to Kejriwal SC to ED

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday said it may consider a question of interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the liquor policy scam case in view of general elections.

The top court also asked the Enforcement Directorate to answer on May 7 if Kejriwal should be allowed to sign files because of the position of Chief Minister he holds.

"We will keep the matter on Tuesday morning now, and since it is going to take time, we may hear you on the questions of interim bail due to the elections..so please be prepared to answer on that," a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta told Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate.

The court also said it will be considering because of the position that Kejriwal holds, should he be allowed to sign official files or not.

The court was hearing a plea by Kejriwal challenging validity of his March 21 arrest by the ED in a money laundering case arising out of the liquor policy scam. The Delhi High Court had dismissed his writ petition in this regard.

Before the top court, Kejriwal has questioned before the court the mode, manner, and timing of his arrest just before the Lok Sabha elections and after imposition of the Model Code of Conduct, contending it was an unprecedented assault on the tenets of democracy based on free and fair elections and federalism.

In its response, the Enforcement Directorate told court that the arrest of a person for an offence based on material can never violate the “concept of free and fair elections," while calling Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as the "kingpin and key conspirator" of the liquor policy scam.

After hearing senior advocate A M Singhvi for Kejriwal, the bench told Raju that he should be prepared to argue on questions on Tuesday.

Raju said that this statement from the apex court may be blown out of proportion and cited statements made by AAP leader Sanjay Singh after his release from jail.

"Let us be very clear on that", because of elections the court will hear Kejriwal's plea for interim bail, the bench said.

Opposing any relief for Kejriwal, Raju pointed out that timing of Kejriwal's arrest just before elections is one of the grounds in his petition. Kejriwal has questioned his arrest just before the elections.

"For interim bail…both sides, we may hear you on that. We will hear on Tuesday," the bench said.

The court also asked Raju to take instruction on conditions if court were to allow interim bail for Kejriwal due to the elections.

Raju, on his part, said that the case has been fully argued on Kejriwal's challenge to his arrest. He has yet not filed any bail application, Raju said.

"We may grant, we may not grant..do not assume anything," the bench said, after hearing arguments senior advocate A M Singhvi for Kejriwal on correctness of arrest.

The court assured both the sides to grant full hearing on the issue.

On April 30, the court had asked the Enforcement Directorate to explain a question raised by Kejriwal over the timing of his arrest before the general elections, emphasising that life and liberty are exceedingly important.



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