NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Tuesday put the bail of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on hold in response to the plea filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The bench of Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain stayed the bail order in the alleged money laundering excise scam granted by the trial court on June 20 saying the “trial court did not apply its mind while granting bail to Kejriwal in money laundering case.”
The high court also said the trial court failed to appreciate the material placed before it by the ED and the judge ought to have given adequate opportunity to ED while deciding the bail plea.
“The operation of the impugned order is stayed,” the bench said.
Meanwhile, the court has already fixed the main matter for July, where ED challenged the trial court order granting Arvind Kejriwal regular bail.
Soon after the stay, the AAP said: “We dissent with the decision of the High Court. We will challenge this decision in the Supreme Court. The order on bail can’t be stayed in this manner, the Supreme Court too has said this yesterday.”
The probe agency had moved to the high court for a stay on bail granted by Delhi trial court. The probe agency had contended that the trial court’s order was “perverse”, “one-sided” and “wrong-sided”.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju, representing the ED, had claimed that the findings were based on irrelevant facts. The relevant facts, he claimed, were not considered by the special judge.
“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,” he had argued.
Meanwhile, the probe agency’s plea for stay on Kejriwal’s bail was vehemently opposed by senior advocates Abhishek Singhvi and Vikram Chaudhari, representing the AAP leader. They said Article 21 (protection of life and personal liberty) of the Constitution does not exist for the ED for which the liberty of a person figured low in priority.
In the last hearing, the high court had reserved its order and asked the counsel to file the written submissions by Monday.
Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court on Thursday had granted bail to Kejriwal on a bond of Rs 1 lakh in the money laundering case related to the alleged excise policy case. The court had also declined ED’s request to stay the bail order for 48 hours.
As the probe agency moved high court, Sunita Kejriwal had expressed her outrage at the probe agency for challenging the bail order. She had accused the agency of treating Kejriwal as if he were “the most wanted terrorist in India”.