The Supreme Court's Interim Bail Order For Arvind Kejriwal Explained

Arvind Kejriwal has been granted interim bail till June 1 for campaigning in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. The relief comes just ahead of the polling in Delhi on May 25. The AAP leader, however, has to surrender on June 2, two days before the counting of the votes.
Arvind Kejriwal_Supreme Court

Arvind Kejriwal was arrested in a money laundering case linked to the alleged excise policy scam.

New Delhi: In a big relief to Arvind Kejriwal, the Supreme Court today granted interim bail to the Delhi Chief Minister till June 1 for campaigning in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. The relief comes less than two weeks before Delhi goes to polls on May 25. The Aam Aadmi Party leader, however has to surrender on June 2, two days before the counting of votes.
June 1 is the last day of the seven-phase elections.
Kejriwal was arrested in a money laundering case linked to the alleged excise policy scam. The Enforcement Directorate is however yet to prove its charges in the top court.
Supreme Court's Condition To Kejriwal For Bail
A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta granted the bail on a condition that Kejriwal cannot discharge his duties as the Chief Minister unless required. "Kejriwal shall not visit the Office of the Chief Minister and the Delhi Secretariat. 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 two-judge bench said.
While out on bail, Kejriwal can campaign and indulged in political activites. The Aam Aadmi Party leader has also not been barred from talking to the media.
No Precedent Of Bail To Jailed Leader For Campaigning: ED
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate, had opposed the granting of interim bail to Kejriwal, arguing that there are no precedents of a jailed leader being granted bail of poll campaigning.
The court, however, observed that granting Kejriwal interim bail for 21 days will not make much of a difference.
"He (Kejriwal) was out there for one-and-a-half-years. He could have been arrested earlier or after but nothing such thing happened," the bench told ED.
"No doubt, serious accusations have been made, but he has not been convicted. He does not have any criminal antecedents. He is not a threat to society," the bench observed.
The law officers requested the court to impose bail conditions, including that Kejriwal will not say anything regarding the excise policy case.
The bench replied that Kejriwal will be given the same conditions that were imposed on AAP leader Sanjay Singh, who was given bail last month in connection with the case.
According to lawyer Shadan Farasat, who appeared for Kejriwal, the court pronounced a very short oral order.
"We have not yet seen the written order. So we don't know the exact contents of the written order. The court said they are releasing Kejriwal on an interim release/bail until June 2, and there are no conditions on what he can say and what he cannot say during the campaigning process and while he is out in these 20-22 days,” he told PTI.
"We are hoping that this order is uploaded today, and then we will update appropriate procedure for his release," Farasat added.
Truth Can Be Troubled But Not Defeated: How Opposition Reacted
Shortly after the SC order, Singh posted on X. "The truth can be troubled but not defeated. The decision of the Supreme Court is welcomed. The dictatorship will end and the country will see the wonders of Kejriwal... Satyamev Jayate (the truth will win)," he said.
AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj said that the "entire machinery was working to keep Kejriwal behind bars". "There is no proof against Kejriwal. Interim bail not less than a miracle. What has happened is extraordinary. Big changes are expected after Kejriwal's release," he said.
"SC's decision has not only got interim bail but democracy , constitution has won. SC has given permission to campaign for upcoming lok sabha elections 2024. Free and fair elections Elections are foundation of our country. Dictatorship will. Come to an end," AAP leader Atishi said.
Kejriwal's release order has been cheered by the opposition, including the Congress. "We welcome the intervention by the Supreme Court in granting interim bail to Arvind Kejriwal..." Congress leader Pawan Khera said.
Trinamool Congress leader and Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also welcomed the decision. "I am very happy to see that Arvind Kejriwal has got interim bail," she said.
Workers Dance, Raise Slogans At AAP Office
Celebrations erupted at AAP's office in Delhi after the Supreme Court granted interim bail to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal till June 1.
Jubilant workers danced and raised slogans such as "Jail ke taale toot gaye, Kejriwal ji choot gaye".
Arvind Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 by the Enforcement Directorate over alleged corruption and money laundering in the formulation and execution of the Delhi government's now-scrapped excise policy for 2021-22.
End of Article
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