DC Edit | Fresh twist in Kejriwal drama

Arvind Kejriwal's bail saga continues amidst accusations of political motivation and delays in legal proceedings over money laundering charges

There is no immunity from arrest for the chief minister of a state. However, once Arvind Kejriwal was granted regular bail by the trial court which had placed him in judicial custody in the first place, it would have stood to reason that he be enlarged while being answerable to the proceedings relating to the money laundering charges against him and his party.

The drama over Arvind Kejriwal, who defied summons from the Enforcement Directorate for months on end, appears to be endless. He alone was able to secure interim bail on the grounds that he had to canvass for votes in the general election. It is another matter that the public displayed no sympathy for his predicament in his home base of Delhi and voted against his party and its alliance partner in the Lok Sabha polls.

It would appear the trial court judge had reams to say of the way the case is being handled by the prosecutors and yet the ED, on a mission to keep the likes of Kejriwal and former Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia in jail for as long as possible, approached the Delhi high court to hold the bail in abeyance.

The ends of justice would be served best were this case to be taken to its logical and just conclusion and the perpetrators of high financial crimes and graft be brought to book, that is if they are guilty. If proved innocent — the onus of such stringent laws as PMLA and PCA is on the defendant to prove his innocence — they are free to continue to operate as the people’s representatives.

Instead of pursuing a speedy legal route to prosecution, the government and its Central investigating agencies seem bent on using the process as punishment and keep those charged incarcerated for long periods of time. Considering the speed of the justice delivery system in India, its delays should not be used to punish those charged. Let them be at liberty until their case concludes.

A long history of arrests points to political motivation more than actual prosecution of those in power who do, however, use liquor licences as a convenient vehicle for funds, both official revenue for the government and illegal gratification for parties and individuals. This is a national embarrassment. The point is whether or not Mr Kejriwal is directly guilty of raising funds through corruption.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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