Delhi High Court lists ED’s plea against bail to Arvind Kejriwal for July 15

The court granted time to the Enforcement Directorate to file its rejoinder and listed the matter for hearing on July 15.

Updated - July 10, 2024 01:59 pm IST

Published - July 10, 2024 12:47 pm IST - New Delhi

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. File

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The Delhi High Court on July 10 listed for July 15 the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) plea challenging bail granted to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the money-laundering case stemming from the alleged excise scam.

The High Court had earlier stayed the trial court’s June 20 order by which Mr. Kejriwal was granted bail in the case.

Justice Neena Bansal Krishna, who was scheduled to hear the plea, was informed by the counsel for the ED that they were served with Mr. Kejriwal’s reply to their petition only late Tuesday night (July 9) and the agency requires some time to file a rejoinder.

While the probe agency’s lawyer submitted that the copy of the reply was served to them at 11 p.m. on July 10, Mr. Kejriwal’s counsel maintained that it was served to the investigating officer (IO) of the case at 1 p.m.

Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, representing Mr. Kejriwal, mentioned the matter before the court, saying a specific time be fixed for the hearing as there is extreme urgency in the case.

However, Additional Solicitor General S. V. Raju, appearing for the ED, submitted that the agency was served with the reply copy of Mr. Kejriwal only on Tuesday night and they need some time to go through the response and file their rejoinder to it.

Also read: Should we pre-judge? SC wonders as Kejriwal asks ‘why am I not free’

He contended that the documents are supposed to be served to the advocate appearing in the case and not the IO. Opposing the agency’s argument, Mr. Kejriwal’s lawyer urged the court to hear the matter during the day itself and alleged that the ED wanted to prolong the case.

The court, however, said it is not disputed that the ED was served with the reply copy on Tuesday and the agency was entitled to file a rejoinder to it. The court granted time to the ED to file its rejoinder and listed the matter for hearing on July 15. On June 20, Mr. Kejriwal was granted bail by a trial court in New Delhi on a personal bond of ₹1 lakh.

The ED moved the High Court the next day and contended that the trial court's order was "perverse", "one-sided" and "wrong-sided" and that the findings were based on irrelevant facts.

The High Court, on June 21, imposed an interim stay on the trial court’s bail order till passing of an Order on ED’s application for interim relief. It had issued notice and asked Mr. Kejriwal to file a reply to ED’s petition.

On June 25, the High Court passed a detailed order staying the trial court’s order granting bail to Mr. Kejriwal. Mr. Kejriwal was arrested by the ED and the CBI on March 21 and June 26 respectively in the money-laundering and corruption cases.

The excise policy was scrapped in 2022 after the Delhi Lieutenant Governor ordered a CBI probe into alleged irregularities and corruption involving its formulation and execution.

According to the CBI and the ED, irregularities were committed while modifying the excise policy and undue favours extended to licence holders.

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