CJI to decide on listing of Kejriwal’s plea for interim bail extension on medical grounds: SC

12:29 PM May 28, 2024 | PTI |

The Chief Justice of India will take a decision on the urgent listing of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s plea seeking extension of his interim bail by seven days for undergoing medical tests as the verdict in the main case is already reserved, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday.


Refusing to list Kejriwal’s interim plea on its own, a vacation bench comprising Justices JK Maheshwari and KV Viswanathan asked senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for the chief minister, why it was not mentioned last week when Justice Dipankar Datta, one of the judges of the main bench headed by Justice Sanjiv Khanna which had granted the interim bail to him, was sitting on the vacation bench.

”Why did you not mention it when Justice Datta was sitting on the vacation bench last week? Let the Hon’ble CJI take a decision as it raises the issue of propriety…we will send it to the CJI,” the bench said.

Singhvi said the prescription was given a day before yesterday and hence, it could not be mentioned before the vacation bench to which Justice Datta was part last week.

”I don’t mind, if it is listed before that bench (of Justice Khanna and Justice Datta) even virtually,” the senior lawyer said.


”Since the bench of Justices Khanna and Datta, which granted interim bail till June 1 to Kejriwal, have reserved the verdict on the main petition, it would be appropriate to place his time extension application before the CJI for appropriate orders,” the bench said in its order.

On May 26, the chief minister filed the plea seeking extension of his interim bail by seven days to undergo a host of medical tests, including a PET-CT scan in view of his ”sudden and unexplained weight loss, coupled with high ketone levels”, which are indicative of kidney, serious cardiac ailments and even cancer.

Kejriwal, in his plea, said he will surrender before jail authorities on June 9, instead of June 2, the scheduled date for his return to prison.

”The appellant prays for an extension of his interim bail by a week, during which the appellant can get the prescribed tests done and obtain results of the same. The appellant will get all these tests done in the working week from June 3 (Monday) to June 7 (Friday) and then surrender on the weekend, i.e. June 9,” the fresh plea said, according to sources.

The top court had on May 10 granted 21-day interim bail to the chief minister, who was arrested in a money laundering case linked to the excise policy ‘scam’, to enable him to campaign for the Lok Sabha polls.

It had directed that Kejriwal shall surrender on June 2, a day after the last phase of the seven-phase poll gets over.

The plea said during the incarceration from March 21 to May 10, the chief minister suffered a lot of health-related complications which are also ”partly attributable to the negligent and callous behaviour of jail authorities”.

Kejriwal lost around six to seven kg of weight in jail and has not been able to regain it even after his release and renewing his earlier lifestyle to the extent possible, it said.

”In the meantime, recent test reports confirm that the appellant has also developed an unusually high blood glucose level as well as high ketone levels in urine, which indicate that in addition to increased blood sugar level, the appellant may have also developed kidney related complications and kidney damage,” it said.

Referring to his recent health check up at his residence by a senior physician of a private hospital, the plea said the doctor took note of Kejriwal’s health complications and increased risk indicators and prescribed a host of full body tests, which are necessary to be carried out before he surrenders.

”It is important to note that unexplained weight loss which a person is not able to regain along with the other symptoms …, can have a host of causes, including some potentially life threatening ones.

”It is on account of this that a senior physician from Max Hospital upon a detailed clinical examination of the appellant at his home on May 25, 2024 has directed a host of tests, including but not limited to tests such as whole body PET-CT to rule out any malignancies and Holter Monitor Test, where the appellant will be required to wear a Holter monitor for a few days while going about his daily activities to identify any irregularities in his heart functioning,” the plea said.

The PET-CT scan shows detailed pictures of organs and tissues.

These tests are to be done in a particular sequence and would require about five-seven days, it said, adding ”sudden and unexplained weight loss, coupled with high ketone levels could be indicative of kidney damage, serious cardiac ailments and even cancer”.

Early detection of these ailments is essential for preventing further progress of the disease and associated life risk and Kejriwal needed to undergo these tests, otherwise his life is at ”high risk”, it said.

While setting him free for campaigning in the remaining phases of the Lok Sabha elections after 50 days of custody in the case, the court on May 10 had barred him from visiting his office or the Delhi secretariat, and signing official files unless absolutely necessary for obtaining the lieutenant governor’s approval.

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


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