HomeWhat's TrendingSetback For Mr Kejriwal: Delhi HC Passes and Pauses Bail Order

Setback For Mr Kejriwal: Delhi HC Passes and Pauses Bail Order

In a significant setback for Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi High Court has temporarily halted his bail in a corruption case related to the Delhi Liquor Policy, pending a hearing on the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) petition. The ED contested the bail granted to Mr. Kejriwal just hours before he was scheduled to be released from Tihar Jail.

The ED’s urgent petition was brought before a bench of Justices Sudhir Kumar Jain and Ravinder Dudeja, who decided that the trial court’s bail order would be suspended until the high court heard the matter.

Mr. Kejriwal’s wife, Sunita Kejriwal, along with leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), had planned to visit Tihar Jail at 4 PM today to welcome the Delhi Chief Minister. The previous day, a Delhi court had ordered Mr. Kejriwal’s release on a personal bond of ₹1 lakh, with conditions including that he must not interfere with the investigation or influence witnesses. The court had accepted Mr. Kejriwal’s argument that the ED had not provided sufficient evidence since his arrest on March 21.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal secured bail on June 20 from the Rouse Avenue Court after being arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case linked to the scrapped Delhi Excise policy of 2021-22.

Judge Niyay Bindu of the vacation bench issued the bail order following extensive arguments from both Mr. Kejriwal and the ED. The court’s decision to grant bail was announced in an evening session, with a detailed written order expected imminently.

Immediately after the ruling, ED’s counsel Zoheb Hossain requested a 48-hour delay in executing the bail bond, aiming to challenge the decision at an appellate level. However, the court swiftly dismissed the plea and scheduled the bail bond submission for June 21 before the duty judge.

Mr. Kejriwal’s arrest by the ED on March 21 was based on allegations that he orchestrated a scam through the Delhi Excise policy. After a period in custody, the Supreme Court granted him temporary release on May 10 to campaign during elections, only for him to return to jail on June 2 following the denial of further relief.

Earlier this month, Mr. Kejriwal filed two bail applications, the first for medical treatment, denied on June 5, and the second for regular bail, which was granted on June 20 by the Rouse Avenue Court.

The case stems from an FIR initially filed by the CBI on the complaint of the Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi, citing irregularities in the Delhi Excise policy, subsequently withdrawn by the state. The ED later invoked the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 alleging funds diverted through illicit channels financed AAP’s Goa campaign in 2022.

The investigation has seen multiple arrests, including former Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and AAP’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, both incarcerated, while Ms. Kavitha and Mr. Singh were granted bail earlier this year.

During the bail hearing, the ED argued that Mr. Kejriwal’s alleged involvement extended to extravagant expenditures like a stay at a seven-star hotel in Goa, funded by kickbacks. In response, Senior Advocate Vikram Chaudhary, representing Mr. Kejriwal, dismissed ED’s claims as speculative, asserting no tangible money trail supports the accusations.

The developments mark a pivotal turn in the legal saga surrounding Mr. Kejriwal and underscore ongoing scrutiny over the Delhi Excise policy’s contentious legacy. The next steps in the legal proceedings await the detailed court order, expected to shed further light on the intricacies of this high-profile case.

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Akash G Varadaraj