Delhi HC slaps ₹75,000 cost on law student seeking ‘extraordinary interim bail’ for Kejriwal

Mr. Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21. He is in judicial custody till April 23.

Updated - April 23, 2024 03:51 pm IST

Published - April 22, 2024 01:44 pm IST

Image used for representative purpose only

Image used for representative purpose only | Photo Credit: PTI

The Delhi High Court on April 22 dismissed a fresh petition, filed by a law student, seeking “extraordinary interim bail” for Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal with a cost of ₹75,000.

The high court said the petitioner, who claimed to represent the people of India, lacked “locus standi” to approach the court on behalf of Mr. Kejriwal, who was arrested in connection with a money laundering case linked to the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy.

Mr. Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21. He is in judicial custody till April 23.

The petitioner, a law student, mentioned his name as “We, the people of India” in the plea, stated that to fulfil the responsibilities of the Chief Minister, the physical presence of Mr. Kejriwal is required in his office to take quick decisions on all issues and to pass orders in the welfare of the public at large.

At the outset, bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora questioned the petitioner, “who are you to exercise any veto power (to release Mr Kejriwal). You are a member of the United Nations?”

“He (Mr Kejriwal) does not want your assistance. Leave it at that. This gentleman is in judicial custody by the orders of the court,” the bench told the petitioner, who despite the judges cautioning him an impending cost continue to press his plea.

Senior advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for the chief minister, termed the petition as “an ambush litigation” and questioned how could such petition be moved by anybody.

“If Kejriwal want to move the court with any plea, he will do so. Who is this person to come and file such litigation. This is a completely motivated litigation. This petitioner also claims to have a regional political party – Nyaya Satta Party. This is completely politically motivated litigation,” Mr Mehra said.

During the hearing, the bench told the petitioner, “What you are doing is very strange. You are giving some undertaking on behalf of Respondent number 5 (Mr Kejriwal) that he will not influence witnesses. Who are you to give the undertaking. Do you have some exaggerated notion of yourself”.

“First you say, you have veto power. Then you give undertaking on behalf of Respondent number 5. How can you say all these,” the bench said adding, “we will dismiss (the plea) with cost”.

“This petition is not maintainable as Respondent number 5 is in judicial custody in pursuance to judicial orders which has not been challenged in this petition,”the judge s added.

“This court is of the view that the petitioner’s claim to be the custodian and representative of people of India is nothing but a fanciful plaint which is devoid of any basis,” the bench said.

“It is even more strange that the petitioner has offered to extend a personal bond in favour of Respondent number 5 and has undertaken that Respondent number 5 will not influence witnesses or try to destroy evidence to try to flee from justice,” it added.

“The glaring lack of locus standi is further augmented by the fact that the petitioner is stranger to the criminal proceedings against Respondent number 5,” the bench said while dismissing the plea.

The petition had alleges that the safety and security of Mr. Kejriwal is in danger because he is confined with hardcore criminals.

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