Delhi Court Denies Interim Bail to CM Kejriwal

New Delhi, June 5, 2024 –Delhi court on Wednesday dismissed the plea filed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal seeking a seven-day interim bail on medical grounds. The plea was connected to a money laundering case related to the alleged excise policy scam.

Chief Minister Kejriwal had approached the court citing health issues, requesting temporary relief from custody to seek medical treatment. However, the court, after reviewing the plea and the evidence presented, denied the interim bail, emphasizing the seriousness of the charges and the ongoing investigation.

The excise policy scam, which has garnered widespread attention, involves allegations of irregularities in the formulation and implementation of Delhi’s liquor policy. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is probing the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). According to the ED, the policy was manipulated to benefit certain private entities, resulting in significant financial losses to the exchequer.

In the court proceedings, the prosecution argued that granting interim bail to Kejriwal could potentially hamper the investigation. They highlighted that the Chief Minister holds a high office and might influence witnesses or tamper with evidence if released, even temporarily. The court concurred with these concerns, stating that the integrity of the investigation must be maintained.

Kejriwal's legal team had contended that his medical condition required immediate attention and that he posed no flight risk. They emphasized his cooperative behavior throughout the investigation and his willingness to comply with any conditions the court might impose.

Despite these arguments, the court's decision to deny bail underscores the judiciary's cautious approach in high-profile cases, especially those involving senior political figures. This development adds a new dimension to the ongoing legal and political saga surrounding the excise policy scam.

The ruling has significant implications for both the Delhi government and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which Kejriwal leads. Party spokespersons expressed disappointment with the court's decision but reiterated their belief in the judicial process. "We respect the court's decision but maintain that CM Kejriwal is innocent and has been targeted unfairly. We will continue to fight this legally and prove his innocence," said an AAP spokesperson.

Opposition parties, on the other hand, have seized upon the court's decision to criticize Kejriwal and the AAP government. Leaders from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress have called for Kejriwal's resignation, arguing that the ongoing investigation and legal battles are a distraction from governance.

As the legal proceedings continue, the case remains a focal point of political discourse in Delhi. The denial of interim bail to Kejriwal is likely to have a substantial impact on the dynamics within the Delhi government and the public's perception of the AAP administration.

The next steps in the legal process will be closely watched, as will any further appeals by Kejriwal's legal team. The court's decision today is a reminder of the complex interplay between law, politics, and governance in India's vibrant democracy.