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INDIA Bloc Will 'Free Judiciary From Pressure': Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi:

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said if the INDIA bloc comes to power in the ongoing Lok Sabha election, it would “free” the judiciary from the “tremendous pressure” it is facing. This, he added, will lead to his release from jail on June 5, as all cases against him are “bogus”.

Mr Kejriwal — arrested in the Delhi liquor policy case and freed after the Supreme Court granted him interim bail earlier this month — had earlier said if the Opposition wins he would be free the day after results.

Asked about the statement, Mr Kejriwal told PTI in an exclusive interview, “The judiciary is under tremendous pressure currently. Everyone knows how much pressure they are working under now”.

Asked if the INDIA bloc will put pressure on courts to have him freed, Mr Kejriwal said: “We will not put any pressure. But if the pressure is lifted from the judiciary then justice will start to be served fairly”.

“All the cases against me are bogus. There is no money trail anywhere. Not a single paisa has been traced. If there was corruption, where has the money gone?” he said.

Mr Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21 in connection with the Delhi liquor policy case. On May 10, he was released from Tihar Jail so he could join his party’s campaign for the ongoing Lok Sabha election.

He has to surrender on June 2 — a day after the elections are over.

Leaders of the BJP have alleged that his bail amounts to special treatment — a comment the court has objected to. The judges who granted bail said they have “not made any exception”.

In an unexpected step, the top court, which was hearing Mr Kejriwal’s challenge to his arrest, also said it would hear his appeal for bail. While granting interim bail in the same hearing, the judges said had pointed to the ongoing Lok Sabha election.  Elections are “vis viva” (life force) of a democracy and Mr Kejriwal heads a national party, that he is not convicted and is not a threat to society, the judges had said.

The judges also put aside the Enforcement Directorate’s argument – that Mr Kejriwal’s comment that if the INDIA bloc wins, he would “not have to go back to jail” — is a contempt of the court.

Mr Kejriwal’s former Deputy and close party colleague Manish Sisodia is still in jail. So is former minister Satyender Jain.

(With PTI)