Arvind Kejriwal to stay in jail as Delhi HC grants interim stay on bail order of trial court

The High Court also issued notice to Kejriwal seeking his response on ED's plea challenging the trial court's June 20 order by which he was granted bail.
Last Updated : 21 June 2024, 11:28 IST

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday stayed an order granting bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the liquor scam case, prolonging his stay in jail as the Enforcement Directorate filed an appeal claiming the agency was not given a proper hearing by the district court. 

A vacation bench of Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain suspended the bail order and reserved its judgement on the ED's plea.

The bench said it would pass the order on ED's appeal in two-three days. 

On behalf of the ED, Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, argued that the trial court's bail order was "perverse" as it was contrary to the mandate of Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. 

"The trial court order shall be immediately stayed. We are not given an opportunity to represent our case in the trial court. When I try to submit, the trial court said I have to deliver judgment. Be brief," he said.

Opposing the submissions of the ED, senior advocate Vikram Chaudhari for Kejriwal raised a preliminary objection to the listing of the matter during the vacations because the trial judge had granted bail through a reasoned order. "What is the justification of the ED approaching the HC," he asked.

"What is the anxiety to get it listed in the vacations? There is no question of a stay," he said. 

ASG Raju further elaborated that the agency showed material in the trial court, but nothing was considered. 

"There are two ways when bail can be cancelled. If relevant facts are not considered and when irrelevant facts are considered," he said. 

On the other hand, senior advocate, Abhishek Manu Singhvi also for Kejriwal said that the ED's approach was "deplorable". 

"The accused (Kejriwal) cannot be kept indefinitely in jail merely for the investigating agency to find out the evidence. It is very unfortunate that the ASG is maligning the judge merely because an adverse order was passed," he said. 

With regard to the argument of ASG that he was not given an opportunity to argue, Singhvi said the hearing in the trial court lasted for five hours out of which ED took 3.45 hours and the rest by Kejriwal's lawyer. "Therefore, where is the question of ED being denied the opportunity to present its case," Singhvi contended.

In a relief to Kejriwal, Rouse Avenue Court's Vacation Judge Niyay Bindu granted him bail in the liquor scam case. 

The court granted Kejriwal bail after directing him to furnish a personal bail bond of Rs one lakh. 

Soon after the pronouncement of the order, the ED had asked the court to give 48 hours to sign the bail bond so that the order may be challenged by the probe agency before the appellate court.

The judge, however, did not allow the prayer of the ED and refused to stay the order. It ordered that the bail bond is to be produced before the duty judge by Friday. The trial court also made it clear to the ED that there was no stay on the bail order. 

Earlier, Kejriwal was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court on May 10 for campaign during the Lok Sabha polls. He had surrendered on June 2 as per the apex court's order. The apex court had then said he can approach the trial court for bail.

He was initially arrested by the Enforcement Directorate following a raid at his residence on March 21.

Published 21 June 2024, 11:28 IST

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