Why SC granted interim bail to Arvind Kejriwal in excise policy case: ’Not a threat to society’

The Supreme Court granted interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday. The bail given in order to enable Kejriwal to campaign for the Lok Sabha Elections 2024. Here's what the Supreme Court said in its interim order.

Written By Akriti Anand
Updated10 May 2024
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is in judicial custody, is the third AAP leader arrested in the case related to Delhi’s excise policy case.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is in judicial custody, is the third AAP leader arrested in the case related to Delhi’s excise policy case.(HT_PRINT)

In an "unprecedented move", the Supreme Court granted interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday, May 10. Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21 in connection with the alleged scam in the Delhi Excise policy. He was sent to judicial custody later and was lodged in Tihar Jail.

Now, after the Supreme Court's interim order, Kejriwal will now be out on bail till June 1 and will have to surrender on June 2. The court, however, imposed a slew of restrictions on him as part of the bail conditions. 

Before looking at these conditions for bail, here's why Kejriwal was granted an interim bail on Friday.

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In a major relief to Kejriwal, the Supreme Court granted him interim bail till June 1 to campaign in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is contesting the Lok Sabha Elections in alliance with the Congress in five states/Union Territory — Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, Chandigarh and Goa. 

The Lok Sabha Elections in Delhi, where the AAP is in power, will take place on May 25. The election results will be announced on June 4.

While granting interim bail to Arvind Kejriwal, the Supreme Court took into consideration that he is the Chief Minister of Delhi and leader of one of the national parties.

ALSO READ: 'Hope PM Modi introspects': Congress, INDIA bloc welcome interim bail to Arvind Kejriwal - Here's who said what

On the question of an under-trial person being granted bail for campaigning for the polls, the Supreme Court said, "No doubt, serious accusations have been made, but he has not been convicted. He does not have any criminal antecedents. He is not a threat to society."

The Supreme Court also noted that Kejriwal was arrested in March and said the arrest could have been done before or after. "Now 21 days here and there will not make any difference. On June 2 Arvind Kejriwal will surrender," the Supreme Court was quoted as saying.

What SC said while granting interim bail to Kejriwal?

Kejriwal will not be allowed to visit his office or the Delhi Secretariat during the tenure of his interim bail. He cannot discharge any official duties as Chief Minister, Bar and Bench reported.

According to PTI, the court asked Kejriwal to not sign any official file unless absolutely necessary to obtain the Lieutenant Governor's sanction during the 21-day interim bail period.

"He will not make any comment with regard to his role in the present case, and will not interact with any of the witnesses and/or have access to any official files connected with the case," the Supreme Court said.

The Supreme Court also made it clear that grant of interim bail to Kejriwal will not be treated as an expression of opinion on the merits of the case or the criminal appeal which is pending consideration before it.

The Supreme Court bench also directed the Delhi Chief Minister to furnish bail bonds in the sum of 50,000 with one surety of the like amount to the satisfaction of the jail superintendent. Moreover, Kejriwal will have to surrender and go back to jail on June 2.

(With inputs from agencies)

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