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Supreme Court to review Arvind Kejriwal's interim bail plea for election campaigning

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court has decided to examine the possibility of granting interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to enable him to campaign for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

A bench comprising Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Dipankar Datta has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday (May 7) to consider the interim bail plea, urging both the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Kejriwal's counsel to be prepared.

Arvind Kejriwal, the leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), was arrested by ED officials on March 21 in connection with alleged irregularities related to the now-defunct Delhi liquor policy. Despite seeking relief from lower courts, he has now approached the Supreme Court.

Kejriwal is the third high-ranking AAP leader to be arrested in the corruption case, following Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh. Singh, a Rajya Sabha MP, has been granted bail.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Singhvi, representing Kejriwal, argued today that there is no substantial evidence against the Delhi Chief Minister, and his arrest is unjustified. He emphasized that Kejriwal had cooperated with the ED by responding to nine summonses. Singhvi further contended that failure to appear cannot be a valid basis for arrest.

"All evidence on which I am arrested is pre-2023 end. Every material is as of July 2023. The same evidence relied on Manish Sisodia's case. Money trail chart was the same," stated Singhvi.

In response to the court's query regarding action against AAP, Singhvi negated any such actions. He referred to Section 70 of the PMLA, explaining that attributing the actions of a political party to its convenor or president requires substantial evidence. Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, representing the central agency, defended the decision to arrest Kejriwal, citing approval from both the investigating officer and a special judge.

The court acknowledged that the case and its examination may take time but expressed willingness to consider interim bail due to the ongoing elections. The bench sought input on potential conditions for bail and scheduled further discussions for Tuesday, ensuring transparency in the process.

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TAGS:Supreme CourtArvind Kejriwal
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