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SC may consider the question of grant of interim bail to CM Arvind Kejriwal next week

New Delhi, May 3 : The Supreme Court on Friday said that it may consider, on the next date of hearing, the question of grant of interim bail to incarcerated Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the excise policy case in view of the ongoing general elections.

Rising for the day and posting the matter for further hearing on Tuesday, a bench, headed by Justice Sanjiv Khanna, told Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju, representing the Enforcement Directorate (ED), to get prepared on the question of interim release of the AAP supremo due to elections.

The bench, also comprising Justice Dipankar Datta, clarified that it was merely informing both sides to get prepared on the question of interim bail as the final hearing in the case could be prolonged. “If it (conclusion of hearing) is going to take time, it does appear it may take time, we may then consider the question of interim bail because of the elections,” the apex court said.

Further, it asked ASG Raju to take instructions if Kejriwal, because of the position he holds, can be allowed to sign official files in custody.

During the hearing, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Kejriwal, submitted that elections in Delhi are due on May 26 and the AAP leader was arrested on March 21 soon after elections were announced on March 16.

In the previous hearing, the top court asked the ED to explain the timing of the arrest of CM Kejriwal after the Model Code of Conduct for the Lok Sabha polls came into force. It had also asked the federal anti-money laundering agency to explain the gap between the date of arrest and the initiation of the investigation.

CM Kejriwal had argued that the ED is required to demonstrate the “necessity to arrest” on the “materials available” with a “reason to believe” that he has been guilty of an offence under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. He contended that a range of documents, including CBI’s FIR and ED’s ECIR, did not connect him remotely with the alleged scam.

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