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IndiaKejriwal granted 21-days interim bail for election campaign, barred to attend office,...

Kejriwal granted 21-days interim bail for election campaign, barred to attend office, sign files


New Delhi, May 10: The Supreme Court on Friday gave embattled Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal an interim bail in the money laundering case he faces, allowing him to campaign in the midst of the . However, he was prohibited from going to his office or the Delhi secretariat, nor from signing official documents unless it was absolutely necessary to get the lieutenant governor's approval.


The court ordered that he has to surrender on June 2, the day after the final phase of the seven-phase poll, and set him free for 21 days to campaign for the remaining phases of the Lok Sabha elections after 50 days of custody in the money laundering case related to the Delhi excise fraud.


On May 13, the fourth round of voting will take place.


The news went viral and caused a jubilant wave across the INDI Bloc parties; his AAP referred to it as a “triumph of truth”.


While it may be agitated, truth never gives up. The Honorable Supreme Court's ruling is applaudable. There will be an end to the regime. AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, who is also charged in the money laundering case, wrote in Hindi on X, “Satyamev Jayate.”


“Jai Hanuman ji ki. This represents democracy's triumph. It is the outcome of millions of people's blessings and prayers. Many thanks to all of you,” Sunita, Kejriwal's wife, wrote in a Hindi post on X. Sunita was covering for her husband while he was away from the polling fields.


Even though it is only temporary, Kejriwal's release from prison is anticipated to help the AAP's Lok Sabha campaign in Delhi, where elections are set for May 25, when its leading candidate hits the hustling.


The supreme court ordered Kejriwal to provide bail bonds of Rs 50,000 along with one surety of the same amount to the satisfaction of the jail superintendent, in addition to setting a number of other bail requirements.


Judges Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta's bench dismissed the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) lawyers' fierce defense that Kejriwal's release to campaign would be unprecedented.


His argument that granting interim release to the AAP convener so he could campaign would be equivalent to offering “premium of placing the politicians in a benefic position compared to ordinary citizens of this country” was rejected by the court.


The courts constantly take into account the individual's unique circumstances and the surrounding facts when deciding whether to award interim bail or release. The Lok Sabha elections are the “most significant and an important event this year,” the bench stated, adding that it would be unfair and unjust to overlook the same.


The bench acknowledged that although Kejriwal has been the subject of severe allegations, he has not yet been found guilty, has no criminal history, and is “not a threat to the society.”


More significantly, it said, the legitimacy and legality of his arrest itself were being contested before the highest court, which has not yet issued a decision.


“It is not appropriate to compare the actual situation to harvesting crops or handling affairs.” A more comprehensive and libertarian perspective is warranted in light of the 18th Lok Sabha General Elections, the bench stated, once the matter is under examination and the legality of the arrest is being questioned.


The bench declared that Kejriwal's case is “not an exception,” noting that the authority to grant interim release is frequently used in various situations and that interim bail is given while taking the particulars of each case into consideration.


“For the aforesaid reasons, we direct that the appellant – Arvind Kejriwal will be released on interim bail in connection with case… till June 1, 2024, that is, he will surrender on June 2, 2024 on the following terms and conditions…,” the court stated, adding that “he shall not visit the office of the Chief Minister and the Delhi secretariat” .


“He (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 court stated.


The panel instructed Kejriwal not to comment on his involvement in the case, not to speak with any of the witnesses, and not to have access to any official records related to the case.


The Supreme Court stated that Kejriwal's request for interim bail is being considered because the Lok Sabha elections are now taking place and the court is unable to reach a decision on his motion to overturn his arrest at this time.


We don't believe it would be appropriate for us to tell Arvind Kejriwal, the appellant, to ask the trial court for temporary bail or release while the appeal is still underway. “Given the legal issues and contentions that are being examined and considered by us, this may not be appropriate,” it stated.


Out of the approximately 970 million voters, 650–700 million will cast ballots to choose the government of this nation for the ensuing five years. The statement underscores the significance of the Lok Sabha elections by stating that general elections provide a democracy with its vitality.


The bench stated that Kejriwal had been served with nine notices/summons, the first of which was sent in October 2023, but he had not shown up. The ED had correctly noted this.


It noted, “This is a negative factor, but there are several other facets which we are required to take into consideration,” and mentioned that Kejriwal is the national party's head and the chief minister.


The bench pointed out that although Kejriwal was taken into custody on March 21 of this year, the inquiry into the issue has been ongoing since August 2022.


The top court declared that the issuance of temporary release would not be interpreted as a declaration of the court's view regarding the case's or the criminal appeal's merits, which is still being reviewed.



The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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