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Excise Scam | HC puts on hold trial court order granting bail to Kejriwal till it hears ED's plea
6/21/2024 10:04:08 PM
NEW DELHI, June 21: The Delhi High Court on Friday put on hold the trial court order granting bail to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal till it hears the ED's plea challenging the relief granted to him in the money laundering case linked to the alleged excise scam.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) mentioned its plea challenging the trial court order before a bench of Justices Sudhir Kumar Jain and Ravinder Dudeja, which said the case file will come before it soon and till then the trial court order shall not be acted upon.
The matter has been listed for hearing during the day.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S V Raju, representing the ED, sought a stay on the trial court order passed on Thursday evening, contending that the agency was not given a proper opportunity to argue its case.
He said the trial court pronounced the order around 8 pm on June 20 and the order is not yet made available to them. Even after passing of the order when the ED lawyers urged the trial court to keep its order in abeyance for 48 hours to enable them to approach superior courts, the prayer was not considered, the ASG contended.
"I was not allowed to argue fully. I was not given proper time of 2-3 days to file written submissions. This is not done. On merits, I have an excellent case. The trial court said finish of in half an hour as it wanted to deliver the judgment. It did not give us full opportunity to argue the case," Raju contended,
"I am making the allegations with full seriousness," he added.
Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) says an opportunity must be granted to the public prosecutor to present his case but that opportunity was not granted to me, he contended.
"Let the order be stayed and the plea be heard as early as possible. That order cannot be allowed to stand even for a day," the law officer said.
The plea was opposed by senior advocates Abhishek Singhvi and Vikram Chaudhari, representing Kejriwal, submitting that the allegations made by the ED counsel were patently incorrect and it was astonishing that they cannot accept anything with grace.
"The noise and heat is not going to solve this problem," Singhvi said.
He said there are 10 judgments of the Supreme Court which say cancellation or reversal of bail is radically different from grant of bail.
Chaudhari said, "This person (Kejriwal) was released by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court granted him liberty. This would be a travesty of justice. We are on caveat here and we should be given opportunity to be heard. We would address arguments. An ex-parte order of such a nature…"
To this, Justice Jain said, "File is coming to me in 10-15 minutes after proper numbering, thereafter, you can start your arguments. You can argue for as much time as you want to argue".
The ED had arrested Kejriwal on March 21, shortly after the Delhi High Court refused to grant him protection from arrest on his petition challenging summonses issued to him.
While pronouncing the order on Thursday, the trial court ordered Kejriwal's release on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh and imposed certain conditions, including that he will not try to hamper the investigation or influence the witnesses.
The judge had also directed Kejriwal to appear before the court whenever required and to cooperate with the investigation.
On May 10, the Supreme Court had granted interim bail to Kejriwal till June 1 to campaign in the Lok Sabha elections, saying he will have to surrender and go back to jail on June 2. Kejriwal had surrendered before Tihar jail authorities on June 2 and has been there since then.
The trial court had on June 5 denied him interim bail which he sought citing several ailments.
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