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Arvind Kejriwal to stay in jail for now after Delhi HC reserves order on CM's bail plea

The Enforcement Directorate on Friday approached the Delhi High Court challenging the bail granted to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the money laundering case stemming from the alleged excise scam.

Edited By: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Updated on: June 21, 2024 23:38 IST
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal
Image Source : PTI Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

In a major setback for Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi High Court reserved its order on the Chief Minister's bail plea on Friday. This means that the Aam Aadmi Party chief will have to stay in jail as of now. The Delhi High Court stayed the bail order until a final decision is pronounced, which is expected by Monday or Tuesday. The High Court has directed the counsel to file their written submissions by Monday. The development has come after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) approached the High Court challenging the local court's judgement. 

On Thursday, the Rouse Avenue Court granted bail to Arvind Kejriwal in the alleged liquor policy scam case. ED mentioned its plea challenging the trial court order for an urgent hearing before a bench of Justices Sudhir Kumar Jain and Ravinder Dudeja, which said the case file will come to it in 10-15 minutes and after that, it would hear the matter. 

What did ASG Raju say? 

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju, representing the ED, sought a stay on the trial court order contending that the agency was not given a proper opportunity to argue its case. He asserted that an amount of Rs 45 crore has been detected, and its usage in the Goa elections has been thoroughly documented. Despite this, the court has remarked that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) lacks the capability to substantiate its claims. Adding to the contention, Raju criticized a judicial decision, highlighting a concerning misjudgment. Raju emphasized that it is a gross distortion of justice for a judge to admit to not having reviewed the case documents and still proceed to grant bail. According to Raju, this oversight alone warrants the revocation of the bail order

The Additional Solicitor General also made serious allegations against Kejriwal, accusing him of involvement in two money laundering cases. According to Raju, the first case involves Kejriwal in his personal capacity, where he allegedly demanded Rs 100 crore. The second case pertains to Kejriwal's vicarious liability, asserting that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) engaged in money laundering by utilising funds acquired from "illicit activities" to finance their election campaigns and programmes.  Raju claimed this implicates both Kejriwal and AAP in the crime of money laundering.

What Kejriwal's advocate said in court? 

Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Kejriwal, argued that the stay on the trial court's order is essentially equivalent to cancelling the bail. Singhvi criticised the ED, suggesting that it has found a new tactic to circumvent legal procedures. He emphasised that the ED is attempting to bypass the law, stressing that there is a clear distinction between granting bail and cancelling it.

Enforcement Directed has prayed before Delhi High Court to set-aside the order dated 20.06.2024 passed by Special Judge (Vacation Judge), Rouse Avenue District Courts granting bail to Kejriwal.The ED had arrested Kejriwal on March 21, shortly after the Delhi High Court refused to grant him protection from arrest on his petition challenging summonses issued to him.

ALSO READ | Arvind Kejriwal gets bail: ED challenges local court verdict in Delhi High Court

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