Kejriwal seeks regular bail in laundering case

| | New Delhi
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Kejriwal seeks regular bail in laundering case

Friday, 31 May 2024 | Rajesh Kumar | New Delhi

Kejriwal seeks regular bail in laundering case

A city court on Thursday sought the response of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to a bail plea filed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the money laundering case against him in relation to the Delhi excise policy. Kejriwal is currently out on interim bail, granted by the Supreme Court, in the case till June 1.  Kejriwal on Thursday campaigned in Punjab, the last day of campaigning for the seven phases Lok Sabha polls.

Special Judge Kaveri Baweja also directed the ED to file its response to Kejriwal's plea by Saturday when the ED said it would like to file replies to Kejriwal's plea. The court allowed the same and posted the case for further hearing on June 1 at 2 pm.

Appearing for ED, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju sought time to file response to the pleas. The agency claimed he suppressed many facts. Kejriwal, who had been campaigning from the day he was released on interim bail, is claiming to be unwell as the date for surrender neared, Raju said.

 "He is not in custody. He has been granted interim bail by the Supreme Court. He is today in Punjab campaigning. His health did not hinder him from campaigning. He moves the bail on the last date so that we get very little time. His conduct doesn't entitle him for any orders today," Raju said.

Kejriwal has filed two separate pleas. One plea seeks regular bail in the money laundering case initiated by the ED in relation to the Delhi excise policy scam. A second plea seeks interim bail for seven days on medical grounds. The court on Thursday issued notice on both pleas.

Later, adding a Press conference, Delhi Minister Atishi on Thursday said the ED has opposed Kejriwal's bail plea on medical grounds, as she questioned the probe agency's stand and asked it why it was not allowing the politician to undergo tests as has been suggested by his doctors. Atishi said Kejriwal experienced sudden and unexplained weight loss during the ED custody and in judicial custody.

"Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal filed an application for seven-day interim bail at the Rouse Avenue Court. He sought an extension to the bail for his health check-ups, because during his ED custody, he lost 6-7 kg of his weight. Such sudden and unexplained weight loss is an indicator of several serious diseases. Not just this, his ketone level has reached a critical level. His sugar level is on a continuous spike," she said.  Atishi claimed that Kejriwal's doctors have advised him to undergo tests for cancer, kidney ailments and heart related issues.

 "Why is ED opposing his interim bail plea? Why is the BJP opposing it? I want to ask BJP and ED, 'Why are you opposing Kejriwal's tests?' I want to ask them, 'What did you do to Kejriwal that he experienced unexplained weight loss?'" she said.

Earlier, the Supreme Court Registrar recently rejected an application filed by Kejriwal seeking extension of his interim bail by one week in the Delhi Excise Policy case. (Arvind Kejriwal v. Directorate of Enforcement)

The AAP leader had sought extension of his interim bail by seven days to undergo a host of medical tests, including a PET-CT scan, in view of "sudden and unexplained weight loss coupled with high ketone levels", which are indicative of kidney, serious cardiac ailments and even cancer.

Registrar (Judicial Listing) Pavanesh D in an order passed on May 28 said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader cannot seek extension of interim relief when the decision on his main plea is pending.

"Order XV Rule 5 of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013, enables the Registrar to refuse receiving a petition on the ground that it discloses no reasonable cause or is frivolous or contains scandalous matter. When the prayer made by the Applicant in this Application is considered, I am of the opinion that no reasonable cause or grounds are made out by the Applicant to entertain this application." However, the Registrar observed that the relief sought was 'misconceived' and 'directly in conflict' with the apex court order.

"It is well settled that interim relief can be sought only in aid to the main relief. The relief sought for is beyond the scope of the main appeal since the issue relating to the validity of arrest of the Applicant is in question and not relating to his release on bail...For all these reasons, I refuse to receive the present application, as it does not disclose any reasonable cause for being entertained," it said.

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