Taking the Supreme Court’s order allowing interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal a precedent, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday granted interim bail to former Punjab minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot for him to campaign for the Lok Sabha elections, reported Live Law.

The Congress leader’s interim bail will lapse after June 5. He has been directed to surrender by noon on June 6. Polling is the 13 Lok Sabha constituencies of Punjab will be held on June 1.

The leader was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in January, accused of accumulating assets exceeding his declared income when he was the state forest minister between 2017 and 2022.

Dharamsot has been barred from contacting witnesses in the case, commenting publicly on the proceedings and leaving the country while out on bail.

The former minister was booked under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and the Prevention of Corruption Act and sent to judicial custody.

On Tuesday, Justice Vikas Behl of the Punjab and Haryana High Court took into account Dharamsot’s five terms as an MLA, his former Cabinet ministerial position and that he wished to campaign for the Congress, a party he has been associated with since 1992.

The court also observed that the former minister had responded to every summon he received from the Enforcement Directorate in the case. The bench rejected the central agency’s argument that Dharamsot “does not deserve the same benefit as has been granted by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Arvind Kejriwal”.

“The petitioner in the facts and circumstances of the present case deserves to be released on interim bail for a limited period,” said Behl.

Kejriwal was released from Tihar Jail after being granted interim bail by the Supreme Court in the liquor policy case until June 1, in view of the Lok Sabha election.

On Tuesday, the Punjab and Haryana High Court also said that the Supreme Court had, in Kejriwal’s case, deleted bail conditions restraining the Aam Aadmi Party chief from partaking in political activities and rallies. The top court had held such conditions are a breach of a political leader’s fundamental rights.

The court deferred hearing Dharamsot’s plea for regular bail after the Enforcement Directorate sought more time to place certain materials on record. The matter will be heard next on July 6.