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SC Grants Interim Bail To Kejriwal Till June 1; Lays Down 5 Conditions

In a major relief for Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal, who is in judicial custody in a money laundering case linked to the alleged Delhi liquor policy scam, the Supreme Court on Friday (May 10, 2024) granted interim bail to him till June 1, the last day of the seven-stage polling, solely for the purpose of electioneering, despite his plea before the court being vehemently opposed by the Enforcement Directorate.

During the hearing of the appeal on May 7, the top court had hinted at granting conditional interim bail to Kejriwal in order to enable him to campaign for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. It had observed that it was dealing with the case of an elected chief minister, not a habitual offender, and the general elections take place only once in 5 years.

Following the court’s suggestion, the ED had on Thursday filed a fresh affidavit vehemently opposing the interim bail plea.

In the affidavit, the ED argued that the “right to campaign for an election is neither a fundamental right nor a constitutional right and not even a legal right”.

The central probe agency also submitted that a politician cannot claim a higher status than an ordinary citizen and is not entitled to differential treatment.

ED has maintained before the court that Kejriwal is the “kingpin” in the scam and directly involved in demanding kickbacks from liquor barons.

Welcoming the verdict of the Supreme Court, the AAP leadership said with it not only had Arvind Kejriwal been granted bail, but truth, constitution and democracy had also won.

Conditions set for the interim bail:

* He shall furnish bail bonds in the sum of Rs.50,000/- with one surety of the like amount to the satisfaction of the Jail Superintendent;

* He shall not visit the Office of the Chief Minister and the Delhi Secretariat;

* He 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;

* He will not make any comment with regard to his role in the present case; and

* He will not interact with any of the witnesses and/or have access to any official files connected with the case.

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