SC reserves verdict on Kejriwal’s plea against arrest

NEW DELHI, 17 May: The Supreme Court on Friday reserved its verdict on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s challenge to his arrest by the ED in a money laundering case linked to the alleged excise scam but granted him liberty to move the trial court for regular bail.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta reserved its judgement after hearing senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi and Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, who appeared for Kejriwal and the Enforcement Directorate, respectively.

“Arguments heard. Judgement reserved. Notwithstanding the same, and without prejudice to rights and contentions, the appellant can move the trial court for grant of bail in accordance with law,” the bench said in its order.

The top court perused the case files and statements of the witnesses and accused recorded after 30 October, 2023, the day senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia’s bail plea was rejected. Sisodia is an accused in both the corruption and money laundering case linked to the alleged scam.

The Delhi chief minister was arrested on 21 March in the money laundering case in which the apex court enlarged him on interim bail from 10 May to 1 June for campaigning in the Lok Sabha elections. It ordered him to surrender on 2 June and go back to jail.

┬áThe court, however, barred Kejriwal from visiting his office or the Delhi secretariat, and signing official files unless absolutely necessary for obtaining the lieutenant governor’s approval.

The matter relates to alleged corruption and money laundering in the formulation and execution of the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22, which has now been scrapped. (PTI)