Supreme Court Weighs Interim Bail for Arvind Kejriwal Amidst Legal Wrangle

On May 3, 2024, Senior Advocate A.M. Singhvi, representing Arvind Kejriwal, concluded his arguments challenging the legality of the Delhi Chief Minister’s arrest. Singhvi reiterated his stance that the arrest did not adhere to the criteria outlined in Section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, during the previous hearings. The Bench, after instructing Singhvi to wrap up his arguments, tasked the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to respond to the timing of Kejriwal’s arrest.

Singhvi highlighted that according to Section 50 of the PMLA, a person summoned by the ED does not assume the status of an “accused.” He emphasized that Kejriwal’s transformation into an accused coincided with his arrest on March 21, 2024, just five days after receiving the last summons. Singhvi also pointed out the lack of clarity regarding Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s involvement in the case, indicating that the evidence may not sufficiently implicate Kejriwal as the mastermind behind the Liquor Policy case.

The hearing delved into the interpretation of “reason to believe” as stipulated in Section 19, with Justice Khanna noting the importance of scrutinizing all relevant material in possession of the investigative agency. As arguments continued, the Court hinted at the possibility of considering interim bail for Kejriwal due to the protracted nature of the legal proceedings, especially with the looming elections on May 25. Further deliberations on this matter are slated for the upcoming sessions, with S.V. Raju scheduled to continue arguments on May 7, 2024.