Delhi Liquor Scam / Even after getting bail, CM Arvind Kejriwal...know why the Supreme Court said

Vikrant Shekhawat : May 07, 2024, 06:20 PM
Delhi Liquor Scam: There was a vigorous debate in the Supreme Court on Tuesday on the interim bail petition given against the arrest of the Delhi Chief Minister. The court said during the hearing that if jailed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is released on interim bail, he will not be allowed to perform official duties as it "could have cascading effect". However, Kejriwal did not get any immediate relief as the apex court has reserved its order on his bail plea. The court said that we will first make up our mind on this and then tell.

"We will give you a date day after tomorrow. If it is not possible, we will keep it sometime next week. Next week is going to be very difficult," a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Dutta remarked during the hearing.

Kejriwal did not get relief

Let us tell you that in the petition of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is lodged in Tihar Jail in the alleged liquor policy scam case in Delhi, his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21 has been challenged. On the one hand, on Tuesday, Kejriwal was summoned by the Supreme Court. Even if no relief was received, Delhi's Rouse Avenue Court has also extended the judicial custody of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Kejriwal till May 20 in the money laundering case related to the liquor policy case.

There was a heated debate in the court

During the hearing in the Supreme Court, a two-judge bench asked senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for jailed CM Kejriwal, whether Kejriwal would be present in its office after getting bail, sign the files and be released on interim bail. Will "instruct others" when it happens. Responding to this question, Singhvi said that Kejriwal "will not deal with the liquor scam case. He will do other work because he is a sitting chief minister."

The bench then said that if it decided to release the AAP chief, "we are very clear that we do not want the Chief Minister to perform official duties as it could have cascading effects".

The court further said, "We do not want any interference at all in the working of the government. It is your wish that you want to remain the Chief Minister. Today, it is not a question of legality but of propriety. We are seeking interim bail just because of the elections. "Are considering it, otherwise we wouldn't be considering it at all."

The top court also told the ED that it would hear the bail arguments as Kejriwal "is the sitting Chief Minister of Delhi and he needs to campaign for the Lok Sabha elections."

The bench said, "This is an extraordinary situation. It is not that he is a habitual offender. Elections are held once in five years. It is not like harvesting of crops which will happen every four to six months. We need to address this matter on priority." There is a need to consider whether he should be released on interim bail or not.”

To this, the ED said, "(Former Union Defense Minister) George Fernandes had contested the elections from jail and won by such a huge margin that it was the biggest margin in Indian elections." The ED rejected the court's suggestion, saying it would set a "wrong precedent".

The ED told the court that "a politician has no special rights compared to ordinary citizens. Should all the MPs and MLAs facing prosecution be released on bail?"

Kejriwal's lawyer Singhvi has been asked to respond to the issues raised by the Enforcement Directorate.

These issues are, "Can a politician get special treatment compared to a common man? 5,000 people facing prosecution. What if they all say they want to campaign? Nine summons in six months? Time Can't ED be blamed for choosing? Should interim bail be granted as they have not yet gone into evidence?”

During the hearing, the top court also asked Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, representing the ED, questions about the interrogation of the AAP chief and the delay in the investigation.

SV Raju said, "When we started the investigation, our investigation was not directly against him (Kejriwal). His role came to light during the investigation. That is why, not a single question related to him was asked in the beginning. The investigation was on him. Wasn't focused."

To this the bench replied, "This is an unusual case... Why did you take so much time, and why were questions not asked? We believe that no questions were asked about them. The only issue was why you delayed." Was doing?"

The Additional Solicitor General said that if he had started asking about Kejriwal in the beginning itself, it would have been termed as malicious. "It takes time to understand. We can't have it overnight. Things have to be confirmed."

Tuesday's hearing came days after the Supreme Court indicated on May 3 that it may decide to grant interim bail to Kejriwal due to the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

Arvind Kejriwal, who is currently lodged in Tihar jail, has approached the Supreme Court, a day after his plea challenging his arrest and remand was dismissed by the Delhi High Court on April 9.