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No relief for Kejriwal from India’s top court in money laundering case

Kejriwal faces accusations of money laundering in connection with the alleged Delhi excise scam.

Kejriwal, arrested on March 21, remains in Tihar Jail under judicial custody. (Photo; Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal faced a setback in India’s apex court on Tuesday as the two-judge bench adjourned without issuing a verdict. Kejriwal was seeking interim bail to participate in the Indian election campaigning.

Kejriwal faces accusations of money laundering in connection with the alleged Delhi excise scam.

Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta, after hearing arguments from senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi and additional solicitor general SV Raju representing Kejriwal and the Enforcement Directorate respectively, reserved their decision on the matter.

Solicitor general Tushar Mehta, also representing the probe agency, strongly opposed granting bail, arguing against preferential treatment for politicians during the election season.

The bench divided the hearing into two parts: one challenging Kejriwal’s arrest by the ED, and the other seeking interim bail during the ongoing Lok Sabha polls. A final decision on bail remains pending.

Before rising for the day, the bench indicated that tomorrow the judges would be sitting in different combinations, and if the hearing on matters listed for Wednesday gets completed and the judges have time in hand, they would resume hearing Kejriwal’s plea against his arrest by the ED.

“If not tomorrow, then we may take up the matter on Thursday. If not on Thursday, then we will be taking up this matter next week,” said Justice Khanna, without specifying any timeframe for the pronouncement of the verdict on the issue of interim bail.

Meanwhile, a Delhi court extended Kejriwal’s judicial custody in the money laundering case until May 20. Special Judge Kaveri Baweja granted the extension following Kejriwal’s virtual appearance.

Kejriwal, arrested on March 21, remains in Tihar Jail under judicial custody.

The Delhi high court previously upheld his arrest, citing non-compliance with summonses and refusal to cooperate with investigations into alleged corruption and money laundering related to the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22.

(PTI)

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