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Kejriwal's Bail Extended by Supreme Court till June 1

The High Court has granted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal interim bail until June 1, just before the final phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Kejriwal, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21 in connection with the alleged Delhi liquor policy scam and is currently in Tihar Prison, is required to surrender to prison authorities by June 2.

The court has agreed to hear requests for an extension of bail beyond that date next week. Kejriwal's legal team had sought bail until July, after the elections and the formation of the new government.

In granting interim bail for Kejriwal, the High Court dismissed arguments about the duration of his release, stating, "Let's not compare with other cases. 21 days won't make a difference."

Kejriwal's team had made a strong case for his release to allow him to campaign for his AAP well before the election for Delhi's seven Lok Sabha seats on May 25.

The bail conditions will be similar to those imposed on Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, Kejriwal's associate who was arrested in October in connection with the same case and granted bail in early April. Importantly, Sanjay Singh was allowed to engage in political activities, including campaigning for the AAP. Similarly, Kejriwal is expected to be able to do so once he is released.

Kejriwal has been instructed not to visit his office or the Delhi Secretariat and is prohibited from contacting witnesses or accessing related documents. He is also not allowed to make any comments regarding his role in the case beyond what has already been stated on his behalf.

Finally, Kejriwal has been directed to furnish bail bonds worth ₹50,000 with a similar surety. It is anticipated that he could be released from Tihar as soon as tonight.

The decision to grant bail to Kejriwal has been welcomed by his party, the AAP, and the opposition, including the Congress party. Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal and Trinamool Congress leader, also expressed her satisfaction with the decision.

Despite objections from the Enforcement Directorate, the court recognized Kejriwal as the elected Chief Minister of Delhi and emphasized that he is not a habitual offender. The ED had argued against granting bail, stating that no politician should be granted special status higher than that of an ordinary citizen.

The allegations against Kejriwal and the AAP regarding the Delhi liquor policy scam have been strongly denied by the party, which accuses the BJP of making baseless accusations to discredit them before the elections.


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