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Campaigning Shows AAP Chief Doesn’t Have Life-Threatening Ailment: Court

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The extensive campaigning tours and related events undertaken by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal indicate that he does not appear to be suffering from any serious or “life threatening” ailment, a Delhi court has held while denying him interim bail.

In yet another setback to Arvind Kejriwal, the court on Wednesday dismissed his application for interim bail on medical grounds in the money laundering case linked to the alleged excise policy scam, as reported by the Press Trust of India.

“The extensive campaigning tours and related meetings/events undertaken by Arvind Kejriwal as highlighted during the course of arguments indicate that he does not appear to be suffering from any serious or ‘life threatening’ ailment so as to entitle him to the benefit,” Special Judge Kaveri Baweja said.

The judge also extended Arvind Kejriwal’s judicial custody till June 19.

The court is scheduled to take up on June 7 his application seeking default bail in the case.

In the order, the judge further held that grant of interim bail for conducting tests in order to determine if high ketone levels or the stated weight loss could have caused Diabetic Ketoacidosis “stands on an even weaker footing than a medical ground”.

“Apparently, as per the Applicant himself, he seeks interim bail for ‘diagnosis’ of an anticipated ailment which, cannot be said to be a valid ground for the relief prayed for, particularly when this concern can be addressed while the Applicant is in custody… There appears to be no reason as to why such diagnostic tests of the Applicant cannot be got conducted while he is in custody,” the judge said.

The judge, however, directed the Tihar jail authorities to take care of his medical needs in judicial custody.

“Since the health concerns of the accused must be addressed immediately, the Medical Board of AIIMS, which was directed to be constituted vide order dated April 22, 2024 of this court, is hereby directed to be revived and/or re-constituted, if deemed fit by the Director, AIIMS, New Delhi, having regard to the nature of ailments the Applicant is stated to be suffering from,” the judge said.

The Medical Board shall, besides complying with the earlier order dated April 22, also examine the applicant and prescribe such diagnostic tests as deemed appropriate within three days, the judge said.

“The jail authorities shall ensure that the prescribed recommended tests/evaluations of the applicant are conducted without any delay. Upon receipt of the Test Reports, the Medical Board shall prescribe the further necessary treatment as may be required and the Jail Authorities shall ensure that the treatment so prescribed by the Medical Board is provided to the Applicant forthwith, under intimation to this court,” the judge said.

During the hearing on Saturday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had opposed the application, saying he campaigned throughout the Lok Sabha elections but “now when he has to surrender, he suddenly claims to be ill”.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener surrendered on Sunday at the Tihar jail as the tenure of his interim bail granted by the Supreme Court expired on June 1.

The case relates to alleged corruption and money laundering in the formulation and execution of the Delhi government’s now-scrapped excise policy for 2021-22.

The judge had observed that the application was for the grant of interim bail on medical grounds and not for the extension of the interim bail granted by the Supreme Court.

The top court had on May 10 granted 21-day interim bail to the chief minister to enable him to campaign during the Lok Sabha polls. It had directed him to surrender on June 2, a day after the last phase of the seven-phase poll got over.

Arvind Kejriwal campaigned in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi and Maharashtra after being released on interim bail.

During the hearing of his application, Mr Kejriwal’s counsel told the court that he was ill and needed treatment.

The ED’s counsel opposed the application, citing his campaign during the Lok Sabha polls and his “sudden” claim about being ill.

Seeking the relief, Mr Kejriwal’s counsel told the court that despite his ill health, the AAP leader campaigned because that was the purpose for which the interim bail was granted by the Supreme Court.

“Stress due to the campaign increased his sugar level. Today, when I (Arvind Kejriwal) go back to jail without tests being done, I am subjecting myself to risks. This is only to ensure the fact that the treatment given to me is in conformity to the ailment I have.

“I am not asking for interim bail for two months or three months. What is the prejudice that it will cause to them?” the counsel said.

The court has, meanwhile, sought the ED’s response by June 7 on another of Arvind Kejriwal’s applications seeking regular bail in the case.
 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

 Extensive campaigning tours and related events undertaken by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal indicate that he does not appear to be suffering from any serious or “life threatening” ailment, a Delhi court has held while denying him interim bail.    

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