Excise case: ED opposes Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s bail applications; hearing on interim bail plea on June 1 : The Tribune India

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Excise case: ED opposes Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s bail applications; hearing on interim bail plea on June 1

Arrested on March 21 by ED, Delhi CM Kejriwal was released on 21-day interim bail till June 1 by SC to campaign in ongoing Lok Sabha polls

Excise case: ED opposes Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s bail applications; hearing on interim bail plea on June 1

Arvind Kejriwal. PTI file



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, May 30

As Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal moved a Delhi court for bail in a money-laundering case linked to the excise scam, the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday  vehemently opposed his plea saying, “His health didn’t hinder him from campaigning”.

Kejriwal has filed two bail applications – one for regular bail and the other one for one-week interim bail on medical grounds to undergo certain tests.

Special Judge Kaveri Baweja initially asked the ED to respond to Kejriwal’s regular bail plea by Saturday but later deferred it to June 7 after Additional Solicitor General SV Raju sought more time to file its reply on behalf of the probe agency.

“He (Kejriwal) has been granted interim bail by the Supreme Court. He is campaigning today in Punjab. His health did not hinder him from campaigning. He moves the bail on the last date so that we (ED) get very little time. His conduct doesn’t entitle him to any orders today,” the ASG told the court.

However, Baweja asked the ED to respond to Kejriwal’s one-week interim bail plea to enable him undergo certain medical tests by June 1 when his 21-day interim bail would expire.

Kejriwal was represented by senior counsel N Hariharan.

The Supreme Court Registry had on Wednesday refused to list for hearing Kejriwal’s plea for extension of his 21-day interim bail by seven days on medical grounds to undergo certain tests was “not maintainable” as he was given liberty by the top court to move the trial court for regular bail. It had also pointed out that a Bench led by Justice Sanjiv Khanna – which granted him 21-day interim bail– has already reserved its judgment on his petition challenging his arrest by the ED.

Arrested on March 21 by the ED – the AAP National Convener was released on a 21-day interim bail till June 1 by the top court on May 10 to campaign in the Lok Sabha polls. He was ordered to surrender on June 2.

This is for the first time that Kejriwal is seeking bail in the money laundering case. He had earlier moved the Delhi High court seeking quashing of his arrest but his plea was dismissed on April 9. The HC upheld his arrest as he was the national convener of AAP which allegedly used proceeds of the crime in the 2022 Goa Assembly polls.

The Supreme Court had on May 17 reserved its verdict on Kejriwal’s petition challenging the April 9 verdict of the high court. The top court had, however, said ‘without prejudice to his rights and contentions’, Kejriwal was free to move the trial court for grant of bail “in accordance with law.”

The ED alleged that Kejriwal was the kingpin and the key conspirator of the excise scam who demanded Rs 100 crore as AAP national convener from co-accused and that he was part of a the conspiracy to intentionally leave loopholes in the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22, to benefit certain liquor sellers.

On April 2, the top court had granted bail to senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh – who was arrested by the ED on October 4, 2023 -- in an excise policy scam-linked money laundering case after the ED said it had no objection to his release on bail. However, it had clarified that the concession given to Singh will not be treated as a precedent.

Two other senior AAP leaders – former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and former Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain – continue to be in jail in separate money laundering cases.

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#Arvind Kejriwal #Enforcement Directorate #Lok Sabha


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