Delhi court grants bail to Arvind Kejriwal in money-laundering case linked to 'excise scam' : The Tribune India

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Delhi court grants bail to Arvind Kejriwal in money-laundering case linked to 'excise scam'

The judge directed Kejriwal to appear before the court whenever required and to cooperate with investigation

Delhi court grants bail to Arvind Kejriwal in money-laundering case linked to 'excise scam'

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. PTI file



PTI

New Delhi, June 20

In a huge relief to embattled Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, a court here on Thursday granted him bail in a money laundering case stemming from the alleged excise scam.

Special Judge Niyay Bindu also declined the Enforcement Directorate's prayer to keep in abeyance the bail order for 48 hours to allow the central agency to avail legal remedies like moving a superior court in appeal.

The judge ordered Kejriwal's release on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh but imposed certain conditions before granting him the relief, including that he will not try to hamper the investigation or influence the witnesses.

The judge also directed Kejriwal to appear before the court whenever required and to cooperate with the investigation.

The judge had reserved the order earlier during the day after hearing the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which sought to link Kejriwal to the alleged proceeds of crime and co-accused, and the defence that claimed the prosecution has no evidence to nail the AAP leader.

Kejriwal's lawyers are likely to submit the bail bond before the court on Friday, after which he would be released from Tihar jail. On the other hand, the ED is also likely to challenge the bail order before a higher court in the coming days.

However, the grant of regular bail to the AAP national convener will give his Aam Aadmi Party and its allies a stick to beat the Modi government with as, according to Section 45 of the stringent Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), bail can be granted only if the judge is prima facie satisfied that the accused has not committed the offence and that he is unlikely to commit any offence while on bail. A detailed order, however, is awaited.

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.

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.

#Arvind Kejriwal #Enforcement Directorate


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