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Delhi High Court Stays Arvind Kejriwal’s Bail Release After ED Appeal

On Friday, the Delhi High Court halted the release of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal on bail following an appeal by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) challenging the trial court’s bail order in the money laundering case associated with the Delhi excise policy

The plea was presented before a vacation bench of Justices Sudhir Kumar Jain and Ravinder Dudeja by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju on behalf of the ED. Raju argued for an urgent stay on the bail order, claiming that the trial court did not provide a fair opportunity to oppose the bail.

Citing a report by Bar & Bench, ASG Raju asserted that his arguments were curtailed and his request for a stay on the bail order was not considered. He demanded that the order be stayed and the matter heard promptly, emphasizing the seriousness of his allegations.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Kejriwal, opposed the stay request, highlighting that the cancellation of bail is significantly different from the granting of bail, referencing ten Supreme Court judgments.

After hearing the arguments, the High Court directed that the bail order should not be implemented until the Court reviews the matter further. The case is set for a hearing today.

Background of the Case

The trial court had granted bail to Kejriwal on Thursday, with Vacation Judge Niyay Bindu ordering his release on a bail bond of ₹1 lakh. The ED had requested a 48-hour stay on Kejriwal’s release, which was denied by the judge.

Kejriwal was arrested by the ED on March 21, accused of being involved in a conspiracy to manipulate the Delhi Excise Policy for 2021-22 to benefit certain liquor vendors. The ED alleges that kickbacks from these vendors were used to fund AAP’s electoral campaign in Goa, implicating Kejriwal both personally and vicariously in the money laundering charges. Kejriwal has denied the allegations, accusing the ED of extortion.

Other AAP leaders implicated in the same case include former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Member of Parliament Sanjay Singh. Singh is currently out on bail, while Sisodia remains in jail.

In May, the Supreme Court granted interim bail to Kejriwal to campaign for the Lok Sabha elections, but he returned to jail on June 2 after the interim bail period ended. Kejriwal’s application for interim bail on medical grounds was rejected by the trial court on June 5. His regular bail plea was subsequently approved by the trial court, prompting the ED to seek intervention from the High Court.

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