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regular-article-logo Saturday, 15 June 2024

Arvind Kejriwal seeks 7-day extension of interim bail citing pending medical tests

The apex court had on May 10 allowed Kejriwal, arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in the alleged ₹100-crore excise policy scam, to campaign for the Lok Sabha elections provided he surrendered by June 2 and did not visit the Delhi secretariat and chief minister’s office

R. Balaji New Delhi Published 28.05.24, 06:25 AM
Arvind Kejriwal.

Arvind Kejriwal. File picture

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has sought a seven-day extension of his interim bail from the Supreme Court citing pending medical tests.

The apex court had on May 10 allowed Kejriwal, arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in the alleged 100-crore excise policy scam, to campaign for the Lok Sabha elections provided he surrendered by June 2 and did not visit the Delhi secretariat and chief minister’s office.

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The bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta had also barred Kejriwal from signing any official file unless it required the approval of the lieutenant governor.

During the hearing on May 10, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Kejriwal, had sought interim bail beyond June 4, when the election results would be declared. The bench had declined the plea.

Solicitor-general Tushar Mehta had earlier complained to the bench that Kejriwal was misusing his liberty and telling voters that he need not return to prison on June 2 if the AAP candidates and the INDIA bloc won the elections.

However, the bench told Mehta: “That (Kejriwal’s purported claim) is an assumption. Our order is very clear. It is the direction of the court which should prevail. We have fixed timelines. That is an order of the Supreme Court.”

Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 and lodged in Tihar jail until his release on interim bail on May 10.

The apex court had passed the order while dealing with Kejriwal’s appeal challenging the concurrent orders passed by the trial court and Delhi High Court upholding his arrest by the ED on March 21.

“At this stage, it is not possible for us to either conclude the arguments or finally pronounce the judgment. However, there is an intervening factor which has prompted us to consider and pass the present order, namely, 18th Lok Sabha General Elections, which are in progress.

"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 in view of the legal issues and contentions that are under examination and consideration before us,” the apex court had said.

The bench had observed: “General elections supply the vis viva to a democracy. Given the prodigious importance, we reject the argument raised on behalf of the prosecution that grant of interim bail/release on this account would be giving a premium of placing the politicians in a beneficial position compared to ordinary citizens of this country."

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