Delhi Excise Policy Case: Delhi Court Denies Kejriwal's Interim Bail Plea, Extends Judicial Custody Until June 19

Despite the dismissal, the court directed the Tihar Jail Authorities to conduct all necessary medical tests and provide treatment for Kejriwal. Additionally, the Court extended his judicial custody until June 19, 2024. Kejriwal appeared before the court through virtual mode.

The elections have concluded and the results have displayed the intricate dynamics that play a role in India’s electoral democracy and politics. Even though the largest democratic exercise has been concluded and people are filled with excitement as they enter a new era, some of the older controversies still persist, and top leaders are still engulfed within them.

There has been another recent development regarding Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal regarding the Excise policy money laundering case. The Rouse Avenue Court dismissed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s interim bail plea on Wednesday, seeking 7 days bail citing medical reasons in the excise policy money laundering case.

Despite the dismissal, the court directed the Tihar Jail Authorities to conduct all necessary medical tests and provide treatment for Kejriwal. Additionally, the Court extended his judicial custody until June 19, 2024. Kejriwal appeared before the court through virtual mode. In compliance with Supreme Court directions, Kejriwal surrendered himself before Tihar Jail on June 2, 2024. The same court, on June 1, had reserved its order on Kejriwal’s bail plea.

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During arguments, Senior Advocate N Hariharan, who appeared for Kejriwal, submitted that “the interim bail was for the purpose of campaigning for my party, which is a national party…I am out for 20 days and had I not done it, you would’ve said he didn’t campaign and fell ill. It was a lot of stress due to the campaigning, and you know that stress is an aggravator of diabetes. What was alarming was that KETO levels rose in the urine. The aspect of concern is a high level of sugar and the keto numbers.”

Representing the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Additional Solicitor General SV Raju informed the court about various suppressions of facts, including health conditions. During preliminary objections, ED lawyers asserted their objections to the filing of interim bail. They emphasized that the court cannot modify the order of the Superior Court. The individual in question is currently on interim bail due to a grant from the Supreme Court; what is being sought here is an extension of the Supreme Court order.

 The Delhi Excise Policy Case

In November 2021, under Arvind Kejriwal’s leadership, the Delhi government introduced a new excise policy aimed at modernizing alcohol sales in the city. However, this move received mixed reviews, with some applauding its progressive approach while others raised concerns about its potential financial and public health implications.

Less than a year later, in July 2022, Delhi’s Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar reported violations in the policy to Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Vinai Kumar Saxena, who recommended a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The report submitted alleged “financial losses to the exchequer” amounting to more than Rs 580 crore.

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