Arvind Kejriwal to remain in jail as Delhi High Court stays bail order of court

Vacation Bench reserves the order on ED plea for 2-3 days in order to go through the entire records

Updated - June 22, 2024 02:22 am IST

Published - June 21, 2024 11:17 am IST

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) National Convener Arvind Kejriwal. File

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) National Convener Arvind Kejriwal. File | Photo Credit: ANI

After a day-long hearing on the Enforcement Directorate’s plea challenging the bail granted to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the excise policy case, the Delhi High Court on June 21 put on hold the trial court’s order.

“Till the pronouncement of this order, the operation of the impugned order (of the trial court) shall remain stayed,” a Vacation Bench of Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain said, adding that he was reserving the order for two-three days as he wanted to go through the entire records.

Also read | Arvind Kejriwal’s judicial custody extended till July 3 in Delhi excise policy case

The ED had moved an urgent plea challenging the trial court’s bail order, which was passed late Thursday evening. Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S.V. Raju, representing the ED, contended that the agency was not given adequate opportunity to argue its case by the trial court.

On the other hand, senior advocates Abhishek Singhvi and Vikram Chaudhari, representing Mr. Kejriwal, urged the High Court not to stay the bail order; they instead suggested that the court send him back to jail if it found overwhelming and cogent circumstances.

Presenting his case before the High Court, Mr. Raju said, “Material facts were not considered by the trial court. There cannot be a better case for cancellation of bail than this one. There cannot be greater perversity than this.”

“I was not allowed to argue fully. I was not given proper time of 2-3 days to file written submissions. This is not done. On merits, I have an excellent case. The trial court said ‘finish off in half an hour’ as it wanted to deliver the judgment. It did not give us full opportunity to argue the case,” he said.

Also read | Kejriwal gets bail: truth triumphs, says AAP; trial still not over: BJP

“I am making the allegations with full seriousness,” Mr. Raju said, adding that he was denied the opportunity to present his case, as provided by Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The trial court did not even look at his reply on the ground that it was bulky, he said.

He also mentioned that the trial court had given findings contrary to those of the High Court while upholding Mr. Kejriwal’s arrest. “There is evidence that Kejriwal demanded ₹100 crore but it was not considered by trial court,” he said.

‘Attempt to malign court’

Refuting Mr. Raju’s claims, Mr. Singhvi said, “This matter lasted for five hours (before the trial court). Nearly 3 hours 45 minutes were taken by Mr. Raju (ED) and then trial judge is faulted because she does not repeat every comma and full stop.”

He also called out the ED for attempting to malign the trial court judge by claiming she did not give the agency enough time to argue and did not consider material evidence.

“There is a complete misconception as to what the trial court judge dealing with bail application should do. ED’s conception appears to be that the bail hearing merely because it involves a former Chief Minister and merely because there is a political antagonism with the ruling party must go on endlessly for hours without end,” Mr. Singhvi said.

“It is extremely unfortunate the way Mr. Raju has maligned the trial court judge,” he added.

Mr. Chaudhari submitted that Mr. Kejriwal had surrendered to the jail authorities on the expiry of the interim bail period, which showed his bonafide conduct.

“If he is out with conditions imposed by the court, what is the prejudice? He is not a terrorist that he will harm the society if he is let out. What will happen if the Chief Minister of the State comes out on bail?” he argued.

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