Delhi High Court Seeks CBI Response on Arvind Kejriwal’s Bail Plea

Delhi CM and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal being brought to a court by CBI officials in connection with a money laundering case related to the Delhi liquor policy, in New Delhi, June 29, 2024.
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In a significant development, the Delhi High Court has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to respond to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s bail plea in connection with the corruption case linked to the now-defunct excise policy. This directive came from a single-judge bench of Justice Neena Bansal Krishna, who issued a notice to the CBI to file its response.

Case Background

The plea by Kejriwal challenges his arrest by the CBI and his subsequent three-day remand. Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Kejriwal, argued that the case did not involve Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), which pertains to non-bailable offenses. He emphasized that Kejriwal was not a flight risk, had cooperated fully, and there was no evidence of him influencing witnesses. Singhvi pointed out that four others in the case had been granted bail, and Kejriwal should not be treated differently due to his VIP status.

Arguments and Court’s Observations

Singhvi highlighted that Kejriwal was arrested two years after the CBI’s First Information Report (FIR) was filed in 2022 and had already undergone extensive interrogation. He requested interim relief for Kejriwal, noting that this was not a case involving a proclaimed offender or a terrorist.

On the other hand, Advocate D P Singh, representing the CBI, mentioned that the agency had filed four chargesheets in the matter. He argued that Kejriwal’s bail plea had not been submitted to the trial court, which should have been the first step. Singhvi countered that the competence of the High Court to hear the bail plea had been supported by various Supreme Court and High Court judgments in similar cases.

High Court’s Considerations

Justice Prasad noted that WhatsApp conversations could not be considered as evidence without proper certification under the Evidence Act, 1872. This observation came in the context of a screenshot submitted by Dell International Services in a related case. The court stressed that digital evidence must comply with legal standards to be admissible.

The High Court suggested that the trial court should first hear Kejriwal’s bail plea, emphasizing the principle of judicial propriety. The court acknowledged that the arguments presented were grounded in law but also highlighted the importance of following procedural hierarchy.

Timeline and Next Steps

The High Court has scheduled further hearings for July 17, when both Kejriwal’s bail plea and his writ petition challenging his arrest will be considered. The court’s decision on whether to grant interim relief will be a crucial development in the ongoing legal proceedings.


The Delhi High Court’s directive to the CBI to respond to Arvind Kejriwal’s bail plea underscores the importance of procedural adherence and judicial propriety. As the case progresses, the court’s ruling will have significant implications for Kejriwal and the broader legal landscape concerning digital evidence and high-profile arrests.

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