Arvind Kejriwal freed from Jail After 50 Days

Published on: May 10, 2024 23:01 IST

Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor, was released from Delhi’s Tihar Jail today evening, marking the end of a 50-day incarceration on corruption charges linked to the alleged liquor policy scam. This development came hours after the Supreme Court granted him bail until June 1, allowing him to participate in the ongoing election campaign. The Delhi election, encompassing seven seats, is scheduled for May 25.

Supreme Court Bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta said that once the matter is sub-judice and the questions relating to legality of arrest are under consideration, “a more holistic and libertarian view is justified, in the background that the 18th Lok Sabha General Elections are being held.”

Bail conditions for Arvind Kejriwal imposed by Supreme Court:

  • He shall furnish bail bonds in the sum of Rs.50,000/- with one surety of the like amount to the satisfaction of the Jail Superintendent;
  • He shall not visit the Office of the Chief Minister and the Delhi Secretariat;
  • He shall be bound by the statement made on his behalf that he shall not sign official files unless it is required and necessary for obtaining clearance/approval of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi
  • He will not make any comment with regard to his role in the present case; and
  • He will not interact with any of the witnesses and/or have access to any official files connected with the case.

As Kejriwal after coming out from Tihar Jail’s Gate No. 4, he was greeted by huge crowd of AAP supporters waving flags and chanting slogans. Among those welcoming him were his wife Sunita Kejriwal and senior party leaders such as Atishi and Saurabh Bhardwaj, who have assumed prominent roles in his absence.

Saurabh Bhardwaj hailed Kejriwal’s release as a “gamechanger” in favor of the INDIA bloc, emphasizing its significance in the electoral landscape.

Political Figures Gather to Welcome Kejriwal:

The release event witnessed the presence of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, underscoring the broader political ramifications of Kejriwal’s freedom.

Kejriwal Expresses Gratitude and Appeals for Support:

In his first public remarks post-release, Kejriwal expressed gratitude to the judiciary, particularly the Supreme Court judges, for facilitating his bail. He urged voters to “save the country from dictatorship,” aligning his message with the ongoing election fervor.

Additionally, Kejriwal credited Lord Hanuman for his release and announced plans to visit a Hanuman temple in Delhi’s Connaught Place on Saturday morning.

Legal Proceedings and Future Plans:

While Kejriwal’s bail extends until June 1, coinciding with the final phase of voting, he is mandated to surrender by June 2. The Supreme Court rejected requests for an extension but signaled openness to reconsidering the matter next week.

The court’s decision to grant bail reflects its recognition of Kejriwal’s status as an elected Chief Minister and a national party leader, downplaying concerns about any potential threat posed by his release.

ED’s Objections and BJP’s Response:

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which opposed Kejriwal’s bail, argued against granting him special privileges for campaign activities. The agency contended that releasing him solely for campaigning would set an unfavorable precedent.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sought to temper opposition enthusiasm, emphasizing Kejriwal’s eventual return to jail. The BJP reiterated allegations of corruption, linking Kejriwal to the Delhi liquor policy scam, which the AAP vehemently denies.

Backdrop of Alleged Liquor Policy Scam:

The ED alleges that the AAP government’s liquor policy facilitated kickbacks amounting to ₹100 crores, purportedly utilized for election funding. Kejriwal and the AAP have refuted these accusations, attributing them to political machinations aimed at tarnishing their image ahead of the elections.

The release of Arvind Kejriwal from Tihar Jail marks a pivotal moment in Delhi’s electoral dynamics, setting the stage for intensified campaigning as the election date approaches.

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