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regular-article-logo Monday, 17 June 2024

Excise policy case: Can't perform official duties if granted interim bail, SC tells Kejriwal, final order soon

"If you perform official duties, then it will be conflict of interest and we don't want that," the bench said

PTI New Delhi Published 07.05.24, 01:40 PM
Arvind Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal File photo

  • Supreme Court bench rises without pronouncing order on grant of interim bail to Arvind Kejriwal

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it will pronounce at 2 pm its order on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's interim bail in the excise policy-linked money laundering case, noting that it is an extraordinary situation as Lok Sabha polls are underway.

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A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta said Kejriwal is not a habitual offender.

"He is the CM of Delhi and an elected leader. Elections are going on. This is an extraordinary situation. It is not like he is some kind of a habitual offender. We will consider hearing arguments on whether he should be released on interim bail," the court said.

The top court told senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for the CM, that it doesn't want Kejriwal to perform official duties if he is granted interim bail.

"If you perform official duties, then it will be conflict of interest and we don't want that," the bench said.

Singhvi assured the bench that Kejriwal will not deal with any excise policy scam related files, if granted interim bail in the case.

The ED opposed the top court's view on hearing on interim bail for Kejriwal and said the court may not create separate class for politicians.

"There are around 5,000 cases involving MPs pending across the country at this time. Will all of them be released on bail? Is an agriculturist who has a harvesting and sowing season less important than a politician?" Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted.

Mehta submitted that Kejriwal would not have been arrested had he cooperated in investigation and evaded nine summons.

He said a narrative is being built successfully that Kejriwal has not done anything but was arrested just before polls.

Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 and is currently lodged in Tihar Jail under judicial custody.

The top court had issued a notice to the ED on April 15 and sought its response to Kejriwal's plea against his arrest.

On April 9, the Delhi High Court had upheld Kejriwal's arrest, saying there was no illegality and the ED was left with "little option" after he skipped repeated summonses and refused to join the investigation.

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

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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