I am reserving the order for two to three days: Arvind Kejriwal approached Supreme Court

Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 21, accused of being involved in a scheme to deliberately introduce flaws in the now-repealed Delhi Excise Policy for 2021-22, benefiting specific liquor vendors. The ED has claimed that kickbacks from these liquor vendors funded the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) electoral campaign in Goa, holding Kejriwal, as the party’s National Convenor, both directly and indirectly responsible for money laundering.

Kejriwal has denied these accusations, alleging that the ED is operating an extortion racket. Other AAP leaders implicated in the same case include former Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia, who remains in jail, and Member of Parliament Sanjay Singh, who is currently out on bail.

In May, the Supreme Court granted Kejriwal interim bail to campaign for the Lok Sabha elections, but he returned to jail on June 2 when this interim period ended. He later applied for a seven-day interim bail on medical grounds, which was rejected by the trial court on June 5.

However, on June 21, 2024, the trial court approved Kejriwal’s regular bail plea. Special Judge Niyay Bindu of the Rouse Avenue Court ruled that the ED had failed to present direct evidence linking Kejriwal to the alleged crime or prove that another accused, Vijay Nair, was acting on his behalf. In the bail order made available on Friday, the judge quoted Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the US, to say “It is better that 100 guilty persons should escape than an innocent person should suffer”. The trial court had on Thursday granted bail to Kejriwal and ordered his release subject to bail bond of ₹1 lakh.

Despite this, the ED promptly appealed to the Delhi High Court, which issued an interim stay on the trial court’s bail order. Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain stated that the stay would remain until a decision was made, expected within two to three days. “I am reserving the order for two to three days. Till pronouncement of the order, the operation of the trial court order is stayed,” the High Court said. Kejriwal has since petitioned the Supreme Court to challenge the Delhi High Court’s interim stay on his bail. His lawyers plan to seek an urgent listing of this petition.

Case : Arvind Kejriwal v. Enforcement Directorate | Diary No.27685/2024



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