Delhi High Court stays order granting bail to Arvind Kejriwal in money-laundering case : The Tribune India

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Delhi High Court stays order granting bail to Arvind Kejriwal in money-laundering case

Delhi Vacation Judge Niyay Bindu had on June 20 ordered Kejriwal’s release

Delhi High Court stays order granting bail to Arvind Kejriwal in money-laundering case

Arvind Kejriwal. PTI file



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, June 25

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday stayed the bail granted to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal by a city court in a money-laundering case linked to the excise policy scam, terming it ‘perverse’.

“The perusal of the Impugned Order is reflecting that the Vacation Judge has passed the Impugned Order without going through and appreciating the entire material brought on record by the rival parties which reflects perversity in Impugned Order,” Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain said in his 34-page order.

“It is also worth mentioning that the ED submitted a written note in the concerned Special Court/Vacation Judge in support of the argument wherein the petitioner has raised various points as detailed therein for consideration but the Vacation Judge has not considered the said points/issues as mentioned in the written note submitted by ED before the Special Court/Vacation Judge,” Justice Jain noted.

Justice Jain ordered that the matter be listed before the Roster Bench on July 10.

Arrested on March 21 by the Enforcement Directorate, the AAP national convener was released on a 21-day interim bail till June 1 by the top court on May 10 to enable him to campaign in the Lok Sabha polls. He surrendered on June 2.

Delhi Vacation Judge Niyay Bindu had on June 20 ordered Kejriwal’s release, saying the ED failed to give any direct evidence linking him to the proceeds of the crime and that the probe agency failed to show that co-accused Vijay Nair was acting on his behalf. She had also said that the ED was acting with bias against the Delhi Chief Minister.

However, Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain faulted the judge for failing to apply her mind to the material submitted by the Enforcement Directorate and not giving adequate opportunity to the probe agency to argue its case.

Staying her order, the high court said, “The Vacation Judge while passing the impugned order did not appropriately appreciate the material/documents submitted on record and pleas taken by ED and the averments/grounds as raised in the petition under section 439(2) of the (Criminal Procedure) Code require serious consideration while dealing with said petition.”

The high court also faulted the trial court for saying there was mala fide on ED's part as another Bench of the High Court (Justice Swarna Kanta Sharma) had on April 9 rejected Kejriwal’s allegations of bias against the probe agency.

Section 45 of the PMLA requires the prosecutor to be given an opportunity to oppose the bail plea and says that the court can grant bail to an accused only if it’s satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty of such offence and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail.

However, the high court said, “This court is of the opinion that Section 45 of the PMLA has not been properly discussed by the trial court.”

The high court found the trial court’s bail order to be contradictory as the judge admittedly didn’t peruse the entire voluminous record but went on to record that “relevant arguments and contentions raised on behalf of the parties are dealt with”.

The HC said such an observation was "totally unwarranted" and showed that the trial court had not applied its mind to the material. “The Vacation Judge was required to consider every important and relevant document at time of passing of Impugned Order,” Justice Jain said.

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