National News Politics

“You Can’t Perform Official Duties If We Give Bail”: SC To Arvind Kejriwal

The Supreme Court stated on Tuesday that if Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is granted interim bail, he won’t be allowed to perform official duties due to potential consequences. However, the court reserved its order on his bail plea, with Justice Dipankar Datta mentioning, “We will give you a date for the day after tomorrow. If it’s not possible, we will keep it sometime next week.”


On the same day, Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court extended Kejriwal’s judicial custody till May 20 in connection to a money laundering case related to the liquor policy issue.


The bench emphasized that if it grants release to the AAP chief, he should refrain from performing official duties to prevent any interference in government work. They clarified that the consideration for interim bail is primarily due to the elections, highlighting it’s a matter of propriety rather than legality.


The court also asked Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, who was representing the Enforcement Directorate, why it had taken the central agency two years to take action against the “political executive”—a reference to the Chief Minister and his party—setting up a potentially significant moment for him today.  


 The court questioned the ED, “The problem here is that it’s taken two years for this. It’s not good for any investigating agency to say it takes two years to uncover… Now, when will the trial begin? Going from one stage to another… from starting the process to making an arrest.”


The court also inquired why no questions were raised about Mr Kejriwal before summoning him and making the arrest during the investigation. “… the only question is why didn’t you ask earlier and why the delay?”


“If I had started asking about Arvind Kejriwal right from the beginning, it would have been seen as ‘malafide’,” Mr Raju responded, adding, “It takes time to understand… we can’t rush it. Things need to be confirmed.”

Earlier, Mr Raju had mentioned statements from approvers—former accused individuals who became government witnesses—and stated, 


“There isn’t a single statement that clears” the AAP leader in this case. Mr Raju’s strong statements aimed to counter arguments from Mr Kejriwal’s side, claiming that the Chief Minister was not initially mentioned in witness records.


The AAP leader’s team highlighted that the agency had argued, as late as March 16, just five days before his arrest, that Mr Kejriwal had not been named as an accused.


Representing Mr Kejriwal, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi also noted that “all the evidence on which Mr Kejwriwal is being arrested dates back to before 2023… every piece of material is from July 2023 or earlier.”


In the previous hearing, the bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Dipankar Datta hinted that they might consider granting the Aam Aadmi Party leader temporary bail to enable him to campaign for the ongoing Lok Sabha election.


Delhi’s seven Lok Sabha seats, all of which the Bharatiya Janata Party won in the 2019 election, are scheduled for polling on May 25. Recognizing the lengthy nature of these legal proceedings, the court had shown readiness to listen to arguments from both parties regarding the possibility of granting bail.



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