By – Prakarsh Kastwar

The Supreme Court said during today’s session that it has not yet decided whether to grant Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal temporary release. It also said that it will hear the matter again on May 7.

The Supreme Court declared on Friday that it might grant temporary bail to in jail Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, although the fact that this issue has not to be decided. The court directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to determine if temporary bail may be granted and what conditions can be imposed on him.

At the close of the hearing on Kejriwal’s plea challenging his arrest by the ED, a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Dutta made oral observations.

“We will be ready to hear your concerns on temporary bail for him due to the upcoming elections on Tuesday of next week, May 7. Obtain the proper guidance on this matter and the requirements that must be met. Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, who represented ED, was questioned by the bench. “We are asking you all of this just so you need not be taken by surprise,” he said.

The bench ultimately ordered a hearing on May 7.

Justice Khanna also asked Raju to reply to the issue of “can Kejriwal still sign his official files”.

The ASG replied by saying, “Your statement will be blown out of proportion.”

Justice Khanna immediately said, “That’s the issue concerning an open court.” He said that the court is yet to announce whether it will approve or reject bail.

“We’re not making an announcement. We talked about it openly. Justice Khanna warned all sides to avoid making judgments.

On March 21, Kejriwal was taken into custody regarding with the Delhi excise policy issue.

During the hearing, the bench questioned the ED and stated, “You have applied section 70. As a result, you consider AAP to be the primary accused. Two primary accused cannot be charged with the same offence. The CBI has not prosecuted him. The investigation was ongoing, but he (Kejriwal) was not charged.

Raju clarified: “There is no need for adjudication.”

At this point, Justice Khanna asked again, “If the AAP is a main accused and no adjudication proceedings have been initiated against it, can you arrest Kejriwal?”

The Attorney General ASG said, “There can be confiscations without adjudication and that is the scheme of the act.”

Senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who represented Kejriwal, said, “All co-accused in my case first stated nothing. Then they said something. Anything done by a political party cannot be linked to its the coordinator, treasurer, and so on.

“What is it that connects Kejriwal with what the ED is saying except that he is the convenor of AAP,” he went on to argue.

“Assume a corporation is part of a section. Can its managing director be arrested? Kejriwal cannot be arrested on the basis of vicarious culpability, Singhvi argued the bench.

The bench said, “That is not how vicarious liability works; everyone in charge and responsible is liable to be prosecuted.” Is there any evidence to suggest that he is being arrested under Section 70 of the PMLA?”

Singhvi responded, “Merely mentioning a company cannot lead to the arrest of its MD.”

Then the judge ruled, “Any person in overall in-charge of the company, you are vicariously liable with the company and then you have to show that it was done without your knowledge.”

In response, Singhvi stated, “You were not considering political parties; corporate organizations were considered. It’s a business vibe. “A group of people will take color from.”

Justice Khanna went on to say, “A society will be covered by an association of people.”

Singhvi then highlighted ED’s response, saying, “ED is claiming he is also involved in the demand for kickbacks. There is no direct proof for this. Also, this is a Prevention of Corruption Act violation, not money laundering.”

The hearing was inconclusive and will resume on May 7.

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