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Supreme Court Calls Delhi High Court’s Stay Order on 21 June on Arvind Kejriwal’s Bail “Unusual”,

The Supreme Court criticized the Delhi High Court’s decision to grant an interim stay on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s bail without issuing a final order, calling it unusual.

Summary of the arguments made are as follows:

  • Justices Manoj Misra and SVN Bhatti heard Kejriwal’s appeal against the High Court’s decision to stay his bail while delaying its final ruling.
  • Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain of the High Court had initially halted the bail granted by the trial court, reserving judgment for a later date.
  • The Supreme Court noted the irregularity of reserving judgment in stay matters, typically decided immediately, and expressed intent not to repeat this mistake.
  • The case was scheduled for June 26 to await the High Court’s final decision on the Enforcement Directorate’s stay application.
  • Arguments in court focused on the unprecedented nature of the High Court’s immediate stay without hearing full arguments.
  • Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi argued that such quick reversal of bail is unprecedented and affects Kejriwal’s liberty.
  • Additional Solicitor General SV Raju defended the High Court’s action, stating the order would soon be finalized.
  • Vikram Chaudhary emphasized Kejriwal’s lack of criminal history and minimal flight risk.
  • The court debated procedural fairness and the need to await the High Court’s formal order before further action.
  • The Supreme Court opted to wait for the High Court’s decision rather than intervening prematurely.

Backgroud

Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by the ED on March 21, accused of conspiring to create loopholes in the scrapped Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 to benefit liquor sellers. The ED alleged kickbacks funded AAP’s Goa campaign, holding Kejriwal liable for money laundering. Denying the charges, Kejriwal accused the ED of extortion. Other AAP leaders arrested include Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh; Singh is out on bail while Sisodia remains jailed. The trial court granted Kejriwal bail on June 20, citing lack of evidence linking him to the crime’s proceeds. The ED appealed to the Delhi High Court, which temporarily stayed Kejriwal’s bail pending a final decision, sparking an appeal to the Supreme Court.

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