SC posts Kejriwal’s plea for June 26 against Delhi HC order to stay bail in excise policy case

A bench of Justices Manoj Misra and S V N Bhatti, however, said the High Court's order was a bit unusual as normally the stay order is passed on the date of hearing.
Last Updated : 24 June 2024, 07:11 IST

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday declined to grant any relief to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on his plea questioning the June 21 stay order passed by the Delhi High Court on his bail granted by the district court in the liquor policy scam case.

A bench of Justices Manoj Misra and S V N Bhatti, however, said the High Court's order was a bit unusual as normally the stay order is passed on the date of hearing. The court, however, added it would not be appropriate to prejudge the matter at this stage.

The court fixed the matter for consideration on Wednesday, June 26, after noting a submission by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Additional Solicitor General S V Raju appearing for the Enforcement Directorate that the High Court may deliver its order on Tuesday.

"Let the HC order come on record. Let us have it a day after tomorrow. We are not expressing anything on merit," the bench said.

Senior advocates A M Singhvi and Vikram Chaudhari, appearing for Kejriwal, challenged the validity of the oral order of stay granted by the High Court on Friday.

Singhvi said, "The order granting bail is different from bail reversal procedure and to stay the bail here was unprecedented."

He asked how would anyone compensate if the application filed by the ED for stay is dismissed by the High Court. "It is a question of liberty. He (Kejriwal) is not a flight risk," Singhvi said.

"The order by the HC is likely to come. We will be prejudging the issue. After all, it is the HC, a constitutional court," the bench said.

Singhvi said the judgment is in favour of the petitioner and he can go back to jail, if it is reversed.

Chaudhari said a discretionary order was passed taking all materials into consideration and it gravest travesty of justice if it is not allowed to operate.

Singhvi emphasised the reversal of bail is a different jurisdiction, while the ED here sought reversal on grounds of perversity.

On this, the bench asked, "Has the district court recorded prima facie satisfaction under Section 45 of the PMLA?"

On this, Solicitor General Mehta said, "The court has said, the bail order has to be passed, who has time to go through papers! The order was violative of Section 45."

"The court was a vacation judge for two days. To form the satisfaction, the court has to go through the record of the case. However, the court starts by saying it is a high profile case and records in the order "who has the time to go through the record of the case?," he said.

Chaudhari, however, contested this submission.

Singhvi then submitted if the HC can stay the bail order without seeing the order, why this court could not stay the HC order in the same manner.

"If HC has committed a mistake, why should we repeat it at our end," the bench responded.

The bench said the High Court order may come soon and the matter be heard thereafter.

Agreeing to the submission, the court scheduled the matter for hearing on Wednesday, June 26.

However, the bench orally observed, "It is a bit unusual (to have reserved order on stay) because normally the stay order is passed on the date of hearing."

A vacation bench of Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain had on Friday, June 21 stayed the trial court's order of granting Kejriwal the bail and reserved the judgement on the ED's appeal.

The HC had said that it would pass the order on ED's stay appeal in 2-3 days.

On June 20, in a relief to Kejriwal, Rouse Avenue Court's Vacation Judge Niyay Bindu passed the order granting him bail in the Delhi liquor scam case.

However, on June 21, the ED rushed to the High Court as the district court's judge had rejected a request for a stay for 48 hours to file an appeal.

Kejriwal was earlier 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 however had then said he could approach the trial court for bail.

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

Published 24 June 2024, 07:11 IST

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