Delhi liquor policy case: PIL filed in Delhi High Court seeks extraordinary interim bail for CM Arvind Kejriwal

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking an ‘extraordinary’ interim bail for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in all criminal cases till either he completed his tenure in office or till the time the trials in all cases filed against him were completed.

The petitioner has filed the plea in the name of “We The People of India” arguing that he is not using his name because he does not want any publicity.

Filed through Advocate Karan Pal Singh, the petition argued that Kejriwal represented the residents of Delhi. Some people were trying to crush his reputation by circulating false news on social media and since his arrest, the entire functioning of the Delhi government has come to a standstill.

It said the reputation of the Government of NCT of Delhi as well as the state of Delhi was going down in the eyes of the whole world due to the confinement of Respondent No. 5 (the Chief Minister of the NCT of Delhi) in jail.

Even the judges cannot return back the time that Kejriwal spent in jail, in case he was acquitted of the charges, it noted.

The plea contended that Kejriwal may or may not be guilty of the alleged offence(s), but, it was a well-established principle of law that everyone charged with a penal offence had the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to the law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

Citing safety concerns, the petitioner contended that Kejriwal was confined in jail with hardcore criminals, who were facing criminal cases of rape, murder, dacoity and even blast.

He mentioned gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed, stating that the sitting Member of Parliament was killed last year by three clumsy assailants, while he was in police custody in Prayagraj. The police officials could not do anything, except to save themselves. Not only this, the police escort officials took two steps back to save themselves, he alleged.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had arrested Kejriwal on March 21 from his Delhi residence, hours after the Delhi High Court denied him protection from corecive action by the federal agency.

He was arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on allegations of being the ‘key conspirator’ in a money laundering case related to the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22.

On March 22, Kejriwal was produced by ED before Special Judge Baweja, who initially remanded him to ED custody till March 28. His custody was later extended to April 1.

On April 1, the Rouse Avenue Court sent Kejriwal to judicial custody.

The Special Judge had earlier dismissed Kejriwal’s plea to have five meetings with his legal team in Tihar Jail, instead of current two.

While sending Kejriwal to judicial custody on April 1, the trial court allowed him to carry books and have home-cooked meal, along with certain other facilities.

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