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“No Exception” In Bail To Arvind Kejriwal: Supreme Court Amid Criticism

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New Delhi:

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s release on interim bail was “not an exception” the Supreme Court said today after the government complained that its decision has been criticised by many. “We have not made any exception for anybody. We said in our order what we felt was justified,” said a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta, who had given the order over the weekend, providing a boost to the Aam Aadmi Party during elections.

In an unexpected step, court, which was hearing the Chief Minister’s challenge to his arrest last week, also said it would hear his appeal for bail.

While granting interim bail in the same hearing, the judges had made their reasoning clear: That elections are “vis viva” (life force) of a democracy and Mr Kejriwal heads a national party, that he is not convicted and is not a threat to society.

The top court’s move also follows its frequent argument for bail being the rule and jail an exception.

The bench also steered clear of political leaders’ comment on the matter.

Earlier this week, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said he does not see the Supreme Court’s decision as a routine judgment and stressed that many in the country believe that “special treatment” was given.

When senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, who was representing Mr Kejriwal, referred to the matter without naming the minister, the court said it would not go into that.

The judges also put aside the Enforcement Directorate’s argument – that Mr Kejriwal’s comment that if the INDIA bloc wins, he would “not have to go back to jail” — is a contempt of the court.

Calling it an “assumption” of the Chief Minister, the judges said, “Our order is very clear about when he has to surrender. It is the order of the Supreme Court. The rule of law shall be governed by this order”.



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