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Excise policy case: ‘May consider hearing Kejriwal’s interim bail plea due to elections,’ says SC asks ED to come prepared on May 7

The Supreme Court is set to examine the possibility of granting interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal so that he can campaign for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. A bench comprising of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Dipankar Datta has scheduled a hearing on Tuesday, May 7, to consider the interim bail plea.

Arvind Kejriwal, the leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 21, 2024. The arrest was made in connection with alleged irregularities in the now-scrapped Delhi liquor policy. Kejriwal approached the Supreme Court after not receiving relief from lower courts. He is the third top AAP leader to be arrested in this corruption case, following Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh. Sanjay Singh, a Rajya Sabha MP, has been granted bail.

During the hearing, Senior Advocate Abhishek Singhvi, representing Arvind Kejriwal, argued that there is no evidence against the Delhi Chief Minister and his arrest is legal. Singhvi stated that Kejriwal had responded to nine summonses from the ED and that failure to appear cannot be a basis for arrest. He also emphasized that the evidence relied upon in Kejriwal’s case is the same as that in Manish Sisodia’s case.

On the other hand, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate, stated that the decision to arrest Kejriwal was not solely made by the investigating officer but was also fortified by a special judge. Raju mentioned that the court had reviewed the documents and declined to interfere before Kejriwal’s arrest. He highlighted that the application of judicial mind occurred at multiple stages.

The Supreme Court acknowledged that the examination of this case and its various aspects may take time. However, the court expressed its willingness to consider granting interim bail to Kejriwal due to the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. The bench also asked the Enforcement Directorate and Kejriwal’s counsel to be prepared for the hearing on May 7. The court has yet to decide on the conditions that may be imposed if bail is granted.

The Supreme Court is set to evaluate the possibility of granting interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal so that he can campaign for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. The court will hear the interim bail plea on May 7 and has asked the Enforcement Directorate and Kejriwal’s counsel to be prepared. The decision on interim bail and any conditions imposed will be determined by the court.

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