Delhi HC stays trial court's order granting bail to Arvind Kejriwal, says ‘observations totally unjustified’ | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Delhi HC stays trial court's order granting bail to Arvind Kejriwal, says ‘observations totally unjustified’

Jun 25, 2024 04:23 PM IST

Arvind Kejriwal was granted bail by a trial court on Thursday but ED challenged the order in the Delhi high court, calling it perverse” and “one-sided”.

Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor Arvind Kejriwal will continue to stay in jail after the Delhi high court allowed the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) plea challenging a trial court’s order that had granted him bail in a money laundering case linked to a now-scrapped excise policy.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21. (File Photo)
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21. (File Photo)

“The application is allowed and the operation of the impugned order is stayed,” a vacation bench of Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain said.

The high court criticised the trial court's observation that the voluminous material presented by the ED could not be considered, deeming this reasoning "totally unjustified."

“Observation by the trial court that voluminous material cannot be considered is totally unjustified and it shows that the trial court has not applied its mind to the material,” the court said.

Read: Arvind Kejriwal bail: Supreme Court calls Delhi high court's interim stay 'unusual'

The high court also noted that the twin conditions of Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) were not sufficiently deliberated upon by the vacation judge.

A key point of contention was the trial court's reference to alleged mala fide actions by the ED in paragraph 27 of its order.

“But this court is of the opinion that a coordinate bench of this court has said there was no mala fide on the part of the ED,” Justice Jain said, adding that the trial court should not have made a contrary finding.

Read: ED not acting without bias: Delhi CM’s bail order by trial court

The financial crime-fighting agency arrested Kejriwal on March 21 in a money laundering case. The Supreme Court later granted him interim bail till June 1 for campaigning in the Lok Sabha elections. Kejriwal surrendered at Tihar Jail on June 2 after the expiry of the interim bail.

On June 20, Special Judge Niyay Bindu, who sat as the vacation judge, granted bail to Kejriwal and ordered his release on a personal bond of 1 lakh, and imposed certain conditions, including that he would not try to hamper the investigation or influence the witnesses. The court said that the probe agency failed to furnish direct evidence linking him to the proceeds of crime in the money laundering case.

The ED filed a petition in the high court seeking a stay on the bail order, contending that the order was “perverse”, “one-sided” and “wrong-sided” and that the findings were based on irrelevant facts.

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