Kejriwal not to visit CM Office and Delhi Secretariat; shall not sign official files: Supreme Court in bail order

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Court has directed Kejriwal to furnish bail bonds in the sum of Rs.50,000/- with one surety of the like amount to the satisfaction of the Jail Superintendent

The Supreme Court in its order granting interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has directed him not to visit the Office of the Chief Minister and the Delhi Secretariat.

He shall also 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 order adds.

A bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta has also directed the AAP leader to not make any comment with regard to his role in the liquor scam case.

"He will not interact with any of the witnesses and/or have access to any official files connected with the case...", the order adds.

Kejriwal has been released on interim bail till 1st of June 2024, and will surrender on 2nd of June 2024.

"Arrest could have been done for the past one and a half years or afterwards..", Justice Khanna orally remarked today while allowing relief to Kejriwal.

Notably, yesterday Enforcement Directorate had filed an affidavit arguing that under Prevention of Money Laundering Act alone presently there were many politicians who are in judicial custody, and there was no reason why a special prayer for a special treatment by Kejriwal must be acceded to.

"To the knowledge of the deponent no political leader has been granted interim bail for campaigning even though he is not the
contesting candidate. Even a contesting candidate is not granted interim bail if he is in custody for his own campaigning.... Even the right to vote while in judicial custody which is considered by this Court as a statutory/constitutional right, is curtailed by statute by virtue of section 62(5) of the Representation of Peoples Act,...", 
the top court was told.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had also argued vehemently against the grant of interim bail to Kejriwal saying an impression was being created that heavens would fall if he is not allowed to campaign.

"Please do not earmark political leaders as a separate class, there are Managing Directors who are in jail, they can say my company is in doldrums..the impression is created that he has not done anything and during elections he is picked up..PLEASE DO NOT CONSIDER FOR ANY INTERIM RELIEF..", SG Mehta had further told the bench.

Last week, Supreme Court had said it would be considering the question of interim bail to Kejriwal owing to the Elections. Court had earlier also questioned Enforcement Directorate on the time gap between initiation of investigation and the following arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the liquor scam case.

On April 29, the Supreme Court began hearing Delhi Chief Minister 's SLP challenging the Delhi High Court's dismissal of his petition contesting his arrest by the ED in the liquor policy scam.

Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 late evening. He has been in ED's custody since. ED had conducted searches at Delhi Chief Minister's residence following the Delhi High Court's decision to deny him protection from coercive action in an excise policy-related money laundering case.

The case against Kejriwal & allies involves allegations of corruption and money laundering in the formulation and execution of Delhi's excise policy for 2021-22, which was later scrapped. 

Meanwhile, upon arrest, outside Kejriwal's residence, a crowd gathered, including AAP MLAs and party leaders, protesting the ED's actions. AAP leaders criticized the BJP and ED, alleging political conspiracy and misuse of power to target Kejriwal.