Arvind Kejriwal to remain in jail as Delhi High Court grants interim stay on trial court's bail order : The Tribune India

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Arvind Kejriwal to remain in jail as Delhi High Court grants interim stay on trial court's bail order

The AAP national convenor, who was arrested on March 21 by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), could have walked out of Tihar Jail on Friday had the high court not granted the interim relief to the central anti-money-laundering agency

Arvind Kejriwal to remain in jail as Delhi High Court grants interim stay on trial court's bail order

A Delhi court on Thursday granted bail to Kejriwal.



PTI

New Delhi, June 21

Embattled Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will have to remain in jail for now with the Delhi High Court on Friday putting an interim stay on a trial court's order granting him bail in the money-laundering case linked to the alleged excise scam.

The AAP national convenor, who was arrested on March 21 by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), could have walked out of Tihar Jail on Friday had the high court not granted the interim relief to the central anti-money-laundering agency.

"Till the pronouncement of this order, the operation of the impugned order shall remain stayed," a vacation bench of Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain said and asked the parties to file written submissions by June 24.

The high court said it was reserving the order for two to three days as it wanted to go through the entire records.

It also issued notice to Kejriwal seeking his response on the ED's plea challenging the trial court's June 20 order by which he was granted bail. It listed the plea for hearing on July 10.

The ED's lawyer mentioned for an urgent listing of its petition challenging the trial court's bail order which was passed on Thursday evening.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju, representing the ED, contended that the trial court's order was “perverse”, “one-sided” and “wrong-sided” and that the findings were based on irrelevant facts. The relevant facts, he claimed, were not considered by the special judge.

“Material facts were not considered by the trial court. There cannot be a better case for cancellation of bail than this one. There cannot be greater perversity than this,” he argued.

Seeking a stay on the trial court's order, he contended that the ED was not given adequate opportunity to argue its case.

The application for stay was vehemently opposed by senior advocates Abhishek Singhvi and Vikram Chaudhari, representing Kejriwal. They said Article 21 (protection of life and personal liberty) of the Constitution does not exist for the ED for which the liberty of a person figured low in priority.

Singhvi said the ED argued for three hours and 45 minutes before the trial judge.

“This matter lasted for five hours (before the trial court). Nearly three hours 45 minutes were taken by Mr Raju and then the trial judge is faulted because she does not repeat every comma and full stop,” he said.

During the arguments, Raju said after the order was passed, 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.

“I was not allowed to argue fully. I was not given proper time of two to three days to file written submissions. This is not done. On merits, I have an excellent case. The trial court said finish off in half an hour as it wanted to deliver the judgment. It did not give us full opportunity to argue the case,” he contended, adding, “I am making the allegations with full seriousness.”    

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 him, he contended.

He said the trial court did not even look at his reply on the grounds that it was bulky and claimed that the trial court came to a conclusion that there was mala fide on ED's part after considering wrong facts and wrong dates.

Raju contended that the trial court had given findings which are contrary to those of the high court while upholding Kejriwal's arrest.

“If irrelevant facts are considered, that itself is a reason for cancellation of bail. There is evidence that Kejriwal demanded Rs 100 crore but it was not considered by the trial court,” he argued. 

#Arvind Kejriwal #Enforcement Directorate


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