Arvind Kejriwal not a threat to society: Supreme Court

The leader of Aam admi party and the Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by Enforcement Directorate on March 21 in the alleged Delhi liquor excise policy scam and was in the city’s Tihar Jail. The ED’s money-laundering probe against Kejriwal stems from a case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2022 on a complaint made by Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena. It has been alleged that a criminal conspiracy was hatched by AAP leaders, including Kejriwal, former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and others to create loopholes in the Delhi Excise Policy of 2021-22 to favour some liquor sellers.

However, after 50 days of his arrest the Supreme Court today granted an interim bail for 21 (twenty-one days) Mr. Kejriwal has to surrender on 2nd June 2024. Bench consisting of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta has rejected the contention of Enforcement Directorate (ED) that his release for the purposes of election campaigning would amount to putting politicians in a beneficial position, compared to ordinary citizens.

Court observation for granting interim bail to Arvind Kejriwal
“The appellant – Arvind Kejriwal is the Chief Minister of Delhi and a leader of one of the national parties. 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 the society.”

Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is contesting the Lok Sabha Elections in alliance with the Congress in five states/Union Territory — Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, Chandigarh and Goa. The Lok Sabha Elections in Delhi, where the AAP is in power, will take place on May 25. In order to enable him to campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Bail Conditions
Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Dipankar Datta – said bail conditions would be similar to those imposed on Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, Mr Kejriwal’s colleague who was arrested in October in connection with the same case and given bail in early April and imposed the following conditions:

(a) 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;

(b) he shall not visit the Office of the Chief Minister and the Delhi Secretariat;

(c) 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;

(d) he will not make any comment with regard to his role in the present case; and

(e) he will not interact with any of the witnesses and/or have access to any official files connected with the case

(f) he shall surrender on June 2, 2024.

Case title: Arvind Kejriwal v. Directorate of Enforcement, SLP(Crl) 5154/2024

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