Delhi HC Stays CM Arvind Kejriwal's Bail Order After Counsel For ED Argued That He Was Not Given 'Full Opportunity' To Argue His Case

Delhi HC Stays CM Arvind Kejriwal's Bail Order After Counsel For ED Argued That He Was Not Given 'Full Opportunity' To Argue His Case

The court is now likely to pronounce its order in the matter on June 25.

Gaurav Vivek BhatnagarUpdated: Saturday, June 22, 2024, 12:04 PM IST
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Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal | | PTI

New Delhi: A day after Vacation Judge Nyay Bindu of the Rouse Avenue Courts granted bail to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in the Delhi liquor policy case, the Delhi High Court on Friday stayed the order after the counsel for Enforcement Directorate argued that he was not given “full opportunity” to argue his case. The court is now likely to pronounce its order in the matter on June 25.

Additional Solicitor General S. V. Raju Challenges Lower Court's Order

After Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju challenged the lower court’s order and termed it a “perverse order” on the ground that it was delivered “without going through documents filed by both sides and without giving us an opportunity (to argue)”, Vacation Bench of Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain heard the arguments of Kejriwal’s counsels. He then ordered that “I am reserving the order for two to three days. Till the pronouncement of the order the operation of the trial court order is stayed.”

Meanwhile, Kejriwal’s wife, Sunita Kejriwal, reacted to the developments by saying that Kejriwal was being treated like a “wanted terrorist” and that “dictatorship has increased in the country”. 

Another AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh posted on X: Look at the hooliganism of the Modi government, the trial court's order has not yet come, even a copy of the order has not been received, so Modi's ED reached the High Court to challenge which order? What is happening in this country? Modi ji, why are you making a mockery of the justice system?”

Earlier, Raju had sought an early hearing of his appeal for a stay of the bail order before a bench of Justices Sudhir Kumar Jain and Justice Ravinder Dudeja of the High Court. Saying he was “moving for urgent stay,” he noted that the trial court’s order had not been uploaded; the court had not made the conditions known and did not provide him “full opportunity to oppose the bail application.”

Arguing against the trial court order, Raju submitted that he was not given sufficient time to argue the case or file written submissions by the trial court judge. He charged that the judge was in a hurry and had even termed the documents “bulky” while refusing to go through them. The ASG therefore charged that there cannot be a greater perversity than a judge admitting to not reading the papers and yet granting bail.

Raju Demands Trial Court Order To Be Stayed

Raju demanded that the trial court order be stayed under Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He also charged that despite the ED submitting a written note, the lower court observed that it has not been able to prove its case.

He said the trial court dismissed “significant findings” pertaining to Kejriwal’s role in demanding Rs 100 crore. Raju insisted that there was “direct evidence” in the form of a statement and corroboration. He argued that the trial court’s rationale for Kejriwal holding a constitutional post was wrong.

“If holding a constitutional chair is a ground for bail, then every minister will be granted bail,” he argued.

On behalf of Kejriwal, senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Vikram Chaudhary argued the case. Singhvi termed the ED’s approach as “deplorable” and accused it of having “its own understanding of perversity”.

He also noted that the High Court and Supreme Court were already dealing with the aspect of the legality of the arrest and the apex court had also reserved its order on the matter. He said the grant or reversal of bail is a different matter. Singhvi claimed that ED has not been able to show “one paisa” going to Arvind Kejriwal.

Noting that the liberty of a person is very low in the eyes of the investigating agency, he wondered “if it exists at all”. He pointed out that another accused in the case, Sarath Reddy, the director of Aurobindo Pharma, was out on bail due to back pain.

Indicating that Kejriwal was implicated in the case, the senior advocate said Sarath had made nine statements in which he had not implicated the Delhi CM and he only did so in the tenth following which he got bail.

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