Delhi Court Grants Bail to Arvind Kejriwal Amid Liquor Policy Scam Controversy

Mainstream
21-Jun-2024
blog-img

A Delhi court on Thursday granted bail to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the ongoing money laundering case connected to the alleged liquor policy scam. Vacation Judge Nyay Bindu of Rouse Avenue Courts passed the order, rejecting the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) request to stay the bail.


Kejriwal was arrested by the ED on March 21. Although he was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court in May due to the general elections, he surrendered on June 2. ASG SV Raju, representing the ED, argued that co-accused Chanpreet Singh received substantial cash from entrepreneurs and paid for Kejriwal's hotel stays. He further claimed, "Kejriwal says my phone is sacrosanct. Mai password nahi dunga. (I will not give my password)." The ASG emphasized that Kejriwal's refusal to provide his phone password was grounds for denying bail.


The court, however, found these arguments unconvincing. Senior Advocate Vikram Chaudhari, representing Kejriwal, pointed out that Manish Sisodia's bail was rejected because he sought bail in two cases, unlike Kejriwal, who is not an accused in the CBI case and was only called as a witness. Chaudhari questioned the timing of Kejriwal's arrest, suggesting political motivations behind the ED's actions.


Chaudhari also dismissed the ED's allegations, stating there was no evidence linking Kejriwal directly to any bribe or Goa election-related activities. He argued, "It is a presumption of ED…Chats are not related to the excise policy, or bribe, or any Goa elections."


The court's decision to grant bail comes after a series of legal battles. Recently, Kejriwal's plea for interim bail on medical grounds was denied, with the court stating that his extensive election campaigning showed no serious health issues. The ED has named Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party in a supplementary chargesheet, alleging his involvement in laundering over Rs. 100 crores from the Delhi excise scam.


The Central agency claims the excise policy was designed to benefit certain private companies, coordinated by Vijay Nair, who allegedly acted on behalf of Kejriwal and Sisodia. Despite these allegations, the court emphasized the need for substantial evidence to justify continued detention, ultimately granting Kejriwal bail and signaling a significant moment in this high-profile case.


Author: Anushka Taraniya

News writer