Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal granted bail in excise policy case | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal granted bail in excise policy case

Jun 20, 2024 08:59 PM IST

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was granted regular bail almost three months after he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate.

A Delhi court on Thursday granted bail to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in a money laundering case linked to a now-scrapped excise policy.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case linked to the liquor policy.(AFP)
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case linked to the liquor policy.(AFP)

“Accused is admitted to bail in the sum of 1 lakh,” Special Judge Niyay Bindu said.

The court also imposed certain conditions before granting Kejriwal the relief, including that he will not try to hamper the investigation or influence the witnesses.

The Enforcement Directorate requested the court to grant the probe agency 48 hours to accept bail bonds so that order can be challenged in the higher court.

Special Judge Bindu, however, clarified that there was no stay on the bail order.

The court said that the counsel of Arvind Kejriwal can apply for bail bond tomorrow before the concerned judge.

“We have faith in the court… Kejriwal ji gets bail… truth wins,” Punjab chief minister and senior AAP leader Bhagwant Mann posted on X in Hindi.

AAP MP Sanjay Singh, who is also out on bail in the same case, said the ED's submissions till date were based on lies and asserted that the Kejriwal's release from jail will stregthen democracy.

"Arvind Kejriwal coming out of jail at such a time is going to strengthen democracy. This is good news for the people of Delhi...ED's statements till now were based on lies...this is a baseless fake case formed to trap Kejriwal," he told ANI.

Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal congratulated Kejriwal on getting bail, which he said was "long overdue".

"Tom the prosecutions standpoint now that elections are over no need to keep him in jail ! The justice delivery system has been unfair !" Sibal said on X.

Judge Bindu reserved the order earlier today after hearing the matter for two days.

During the hearing, the central financial crime-fighting agency had sought to link Arvind Kejriwal to the alleged proceeds of crime and co-accused, while the defence had claimed the prosecution has no evidence to nail the AAP leader.

The ED submitted that on November 7, 2021, during the assembly poll campaign in Goa, Kejriwal stayed at the Grand Hyatt hotel, with the bill paid by Chanpreet Singh, who is alleged to have managed the AAP funds in the coastal state.

" 1 lakh was paid in two instalments (to the hotel). It was paid by Chanpreet Singh (co-accused) from his bank account. Chanpreet is the person who received 45 crore from different 'Angadiyas' (couriers)," the ED told the court opposing the bail plea.

The Angadia system, particularly prevalent in the jewelry trade in Mumbai and Gujarat, is an informal banking network used by traders to transfer cash across states.

Read: No trail of money found, Kejriwal argues in bail plea

Kejriwal's counsel, however, asserted that the entire case against him rests on statements.

"The statements are of those people who have confessed to being guilty. They are not saints here. They are those who are not only tainted, but it appears that some who were arrested were given a promise of bail and promise of being granted pardon. Approvers. And there is another category who have not been arrested," the counsel said.

"Circumstances have to be so intrinsically linked (as to) lead to the guilt. These statements by tainted persons discredit the case of prosecution. There is no evidence that 100 crore came from South Group. These are all statements. There is no evidence," the counsel said.

Arvind Kejriwal was arrested on March 21, less than three weeks before the country was heading for the parliamentary elections. On May 10, the Supreme Court granted interim bail to the AAP national convener till June 1 for campaigning in the Lok Sabha elections.

The Aam Aadmi Party launched an aggressive ‘Jail ka Jawab Vote Se’ campaign during the elections and Kejriwal, who was out on an interim bail, repeatedly claimed in his rallies and roadshows that he won't have to stay in jail if the opposition INDIA bloc comes to power. While the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party was able to retain the power for a successive third term, it couldn't muster a parliamentary majority on its own.

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