Weekly Legal Updates ( 5 May 2024 to 11 May 2024)

Arvind Kejriwal gets bail till June 1, can’t visit Chief Minister’s office

The Supreme Court on Friday granted interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal till June 1 in connection with a¬†money laundering case linked to the now-scrapped Delhi liquor policy. According to the bail guidelines, Kejriwal cannot visit the Delhi Chief Minister’s office and even the Delhi Secretariat. He has also been asked not to comment about the case or interact with any of the witnesses.

He may walk out of Tihar Jail today and has been asked to surrender to the prison authorities by June 2.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta pronounced the verdict after a brief hearing on an interim bail plea filed by Kejriwal. The plea filed by Kejriwal had challenged his arrest in the Delhi liquor policy case and the subsequent request for interim bail to enable his participation in campaigning for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

The move is expected to boost AAP’s electoral prospects as Kejriwal can campaign for the party in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, particularly in Delhi and Punjab, where the party is in power. Delhi and Punjab will vote on May 25 and June 1, respectively.

Kejriwal is presently lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail after he was¬†arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 21.

During the hearing, the Supreme Court bench asked Kejriwal to surrender on June 2.

“Let us not draw any parallel. He was arrested in March and the arrest could have been before or after. Now, after 21 days, there won’t be any difference. On June 2, Arvind Kejriwal will surrender,” the Supreme Court ruled.

June 1 is the last day of the seven-phased Lok Sabha elections. The votes will be counted on June 4.

Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who represented Kejriwal during the hearing, asked the top court whether Kejriwal could get interim bail for June 5. To this, Justice Khanna replied, ‘No’.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the ED, told the court that Kejriwal should not speak about the case and surrender on the date specified.

Shadan Farasat, Kejriwal’s lawyer, said efforts were being made to ensure the Chief Minister would be released from Tihar Jail today itself.

“The interim bail is till June 1. He has to surrender on June 2. This has just been said orally. After the order is uploaded on the Supreme Court website, we will see what else is there in it. We are trying our best to make sure that Kejriwal is released today,” Farasat said.

Kejriwal will only be released by the jail administration after they receive a written bail order. Soon after announcing the verdict, the top court also released the bail guidelines for the Delhi Chief Minister.

As per the guidelines, Kejriwal’s lawyer will have to submit a bail bond of Rs 50,000 and a surety of the same amount directly to the Tihar Jail Superintendent and need not go to the trial court.

The bail guidelines also bar Arvind Kejriwal from visiting the Delhi Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) and even the Delhi Secretariat.

He has also been asked not to comment about the case or interact with any of the witnesses.

Kejriwal’s lawyers will arrive at the jail with the Supreme Court bail order and facilitate the Delhi Chief Minister’s release.

“Generally, all the release orders that come daily in Tihar Jail are disposed of in about an hour,” a prison source told India Today TV.

(Courtesy:- India Today, 10 May 2024)

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