Delhi HC to hear ED’s plea challenging Kejriwal’s bail by city court on July 15 | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Delhi HC to hear ED’s plea challenging Kejriwal’s bail by city court on July 15

Jul 10, 2024 01:35 PM IST

The high court had on June 25 stayed the bail granted to Kejriwal by the trial court after the ED moved the court challenging the trial court’s June 20 bail order

New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Wednesday listed the matter to July 15, the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) plea challenging bail to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal by the trial court on June 20 in the alleged money laundering case even as the CM’s legal team requested the court to hear the matter on urgent basis. 

Kejriwal was arrested by the ED on March 21 (File Photo)
Kejriwal was arrested by the ED on March 21 (File Photo)

A bench of justice Neena Bansal Krishna deferred the hearing after the ED, represented by additional solicitor general (ASG) SV Raju, sought time to respond to the reply filed by the chief minister stating that the CM’s legal team had served the reply copy at 11:00pm on Tuesday and they thus need time.

Kejriwal, represented by senior advocate AM Singhvi, said that the reply copy was mailed to the investigating officer (IO) at 1:00pm. He contended that there was extreme urgency in the matter as the high court on June 25 had stayed the bail granted to the AAP supremo.

Also Read: HC issues notice in response to Kejriwal’s plea for more meetings with lawyers

The high court had on June 25 stayed the bail granted to Kejriwal by the trial court after the ED moved the court challenging the trial court’s June 20 bail order.

ED had moved the Delhi high court claiming the trial court order to be “perverse”. The federal probe agency’s petition stated that the bail order was passed without granting adequate opportunity to the ED to oppose the application. 

The money laundering case stems from alleged alterations in the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy of 2021-22 to benefit certain liquor traders.

On June 20, a Delhi court had granted the CM bail in the ED case citing lack of direct evidence, which was halted by the Delhi high court on June 21, in less than 24 hours.

On June 25, a vacation bench of justice Sudhir Kumar Jain stayed the bail order saying that the order was perverse and was passed without appreciating the material submitted by the ED.

Justice Jain also expressed displeasure regarding the trial court’s observations that it was not possible for the court to consider “a thousand pages of documents” while dealing with the bail application. The court said the same was “unjustified” and “uncalled for” and showed that the vacation judge did not apply its mind while granting bail to the CM.

He also observed that the trial court should have given proper opportunity to the ED to present its case and recorded its satisfaction under Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) that “there are reasonable grounds for believing that Kejriwal is not guilty of such offence”.

In its reply filed on Tuesday, the AAP chief, while opposing the ED’s plea, had contended that discretionary orders of bail cannot be set aside merely on perceptions and fanciful imagination of the prosecution.

Kejriwal raised questions regarding the maintainability of the federal probe agency’s plea and asserted that the high court equated the bail order with an order of guilt or acquittal, which ought to have detailed findings after meticulously weighing the evidence.

Also Read: Delhi HC stays trial court’s order granting bail to Arvind Kejriwal, says ‘observations totally unjustified

The AAP chief asserted that the trial court, before granting bail to him, had clearly heard ED, and the agency could not condemn and criticise the order. “The approach to cancel bail by way of interim order is unheard of in law and is also completely contrary to the principle of grant of bail. Every contention of the ED has been dealt with clearly and cogently by the Learned Court,” the reply read.

Urging the court to reject ED’s contention of not being heard at the outset, Kejriwal, in his reply filed through advocates Vivek Jain and Mohd Irshad, asserted that the city court asking the federal agency’s counsel to be brief could by no stretch of imagination be construed as curtailing an opportunity of being heard.

Kejriwal was arrested by the ED on March 21. 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.

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