Excise policy case: High drama unfolds as Delhi High Court blocks Arvind Kejriwal's bail [21.6.2024]

The Delhi High Court on Friday suspended the bail granted to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal following a petition from the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which challenged the trial court's decision in the money laundering case related to the Delhi excise policy, reported Bar and Bench.

The High Court instructed that the bail order would remain ineffective until the matter was heard by the Court.

"The bail order remains ineffective as we have yet to issue a final decision. You may present your arguments in full," the Court stated, pausing the release of Kejriwal.

The Court then scheduled the matter for a hearing later today.

A day after the Rouse Avenue Court granted bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) approached the Delhi High Court on Friday to challenge the trial court’s decision in the Delhi Excise policy money laundering case. The ED is expected to request an urgent hearing on the matter.

Although the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader was scheduled for release on Friday, the bail order had not yet reached the jail. During the June 20 hearing, Kejriwal’s lawyer argued that the ED’s case against him was based solely on statements from individuals who had turned approvers.

The ED arrested Kejriwal on March 21 in connection with the money laundering investigation related to the Delhi excise policy. On Thursday, the Rouse Avenue court granted him regular bail, requiring a bond of Rs 1 lakh.

Despite a request from ED’s special counsel Zoheb Hossain to stay the bail order until legal remedies were pursued, the court declined. Special Judge Niyay Bindu stated, “Accused is admitted to bail in the sum of Rs 1 lakh,” and allowed Kejriwal’s counsel to apply for the bail bond the following day.

Following the court’s decision, AAP leader Atishi commented, “Satyamev Jayate. Truth can be troubled, but not defeated”.

Previously, the AAP convenor was released on interim bail on May 10 to campaign for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and subsequently surrendered on June 2 as directed by the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, opposing his bail plea, the ED had alleged that Kejriwal demanded a Rs 100 crore bribe from the South Group for his party. The agency argued that if the Aam Aadmi Party, charged in the case, committed a crime, the person in charge would be held responsible. The ED claimed, “Kejriwal demanded a bribe of Rs 100 crore for the AAP from the South Group. He is responsible for the conduct of his party,” before Special Judge Niyay Bindu.

21 Jun 2024