Excise policy case: SC to pass order on interim bail to Kejriwal on May 10

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. File/PTI.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will deliver its order on granting interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a money laundering case linked to the alleged excise policy scam on May 10.

Justice Sanjiv Khanna, who headed the bench which heard Kejriwal's petition against his arrest in the case, said, We will pronounce the interim order (on interim bail) on Friday. The main matter related to the challenge to arrest will also be taken on the same day.

Justice Khanna, who was sitting in a different combination with Justices M M Sundresh and Bela M Trivedi, made the remark after Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, who was appearing for the Centre in a matter related to Goods and Services Tax, sought clarification on the listing of Kejriwal's plea.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader was arrested on March 21 and is currently lodged in Tihar Jail under judicial custody.

On May 7, the bench, also comprising Justice Dipankar Datta, had reserved its verdict on interim bail to Kejriwal.

The two-judge bench had risen without pronouncing an order on granting Kejriwal interim bail to enable him to campaign in the Lok Sabha elections.

The bench had reserved its decision after hearing the arguments put forth by senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi and Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, who appeared for Kejriwal and the Enforcement Directorate, respectively.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who also appeared for the probe agency, had staunchly opposed showing any leniency to Kejriwal on account of the Lok Sabha polls and said granting interim bail to the AAP national convenor would amount to creating a separate class for politicians.

The bench has divided the hearing on Kejriwal's petition against his arrest into two parts.

His main petition challenges his arrest by the ED and seeks it to be declared illegal, while the second aspect pertains to the grant of interim bail keeping in mind the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.

The court reserved the order on the issue of grant of interim bail. On Tuesday, a Delhi court extended Kejriwal's judicial custody in the money laundering case till May 20.

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

The matter relates to alleged corruption and money laundering in the formulation and execution of the Delhi government's now-scrapped excise policy for 2021-22.

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