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Supreme Court extends Arvind Kejriwal's judicial custody till May 20

By Fnf correspondent | PUBLISHED: 07, May 2024, 18:58 pm IST | UPDATED: 07, May 2024, 21:14 pm IST

Supreme Court extends Arvind Kejriwal's judicial custody till May 20 New Delhi: Supreme Court extends the judicial custody of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday till May 20 in connection with a money laundering case related to the liquor policy scam.

The Supreme Court bench rises without pronouncing order on grant of interim bail to Arvind Kejriwal. The apex court considered interim bail for Kejriwal in the excise policy-related money laundering case, citing the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the Lok Sabha elections. A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta stated that Kejriwal is not a habitual offender.

He is the Chief Minister of Delhi and an elected leader. Elections are ongoing. This is an extraordinary circumstance. It's not like he's a repeat offender. "We will consider hearing arguments about whether he should be released on interim bail," the court stated. The Supreme Court informed the advocate representing the Chief Minister that it does not want Kejriwal to perform official duties if he is granted bail.

The ED opposed the top court's decision to hear Kejriwal's interim bail application, stating that the court should not create a separate class for politicians.

"There are approximately 5,000 cases involving MPs pending across the country at the moment. Will each of them be released on bail? Is an agriculturist who works during the harvest and sowing seasons less important than a politician? Tushar Mehta, the Solicitor General, submitted.

Mehta contended that Kejriwal would not have been arrested if he had cooperated in the investigation and avoided nine summons. He stated that a narrative is being successfully built that Kejriwal did nothing wrong but was arrested just before the elections. Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 and is currently being held in Tihar Jail under judicial custody.

On April 15, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the ED, seeking a response to Kejriwal's petition against his arrest.

On April 9, the Delhi High Court upheld Kejriwal's arrest, saying there was no illegality and the ED was left with "little option" after he ignored repeated summonses and refused to cooperate with the investigation.

The case involves alleged corruption and money laundering in the development and implementation of the Delhi government's now-defunct excise policy for 2021-22.