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Delhi High Court to Rule on ED's Plea Against Kejriwal's Bail in Money Laundering Case

New Delhi: The Delhi high court is set to pronounce its verdict on Tuesday on a plea by the Enforcement Directorate seeking a stay on the trial court order granting bail to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in the money laundering case linked to the excise policy “scam”. The order is due to be pronounced at 2.30 pm.

A vacation bench of Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain had reserved its order on June 21 after the ED challenged the trial court’s decision and put it in abeyance until the final ruling.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court observed that reserving orders on stay matter was a bit “unusual” and fixed June 26 for hearing Mr Kejriwal’s plea against the high court order granting an interim stay on his bail in the money laundering matter.

An apex court vacation bench of Justices Manoj Misra and S.V.N. Bhatti said it would like to wait for the high court’s order on the matter.

Senior advocate Abhishek “Manu” Singhvi, representing Mr Kejriwal, sought the interim stay on the bail order to be vacated. Stating that Mr Kejriwal was not a flight risk, Mr Singhvi urged the top court to stay the high court’s order before its pronouncement.

Additional solicitor-general S.V. Raju, appearing for the ED, opposed the plea of Mr Kejriwal, and said the high court was about to pronounce the verdict on its stay application.

The top court noted that the high court had on June 21 asked the parties to file written submissions till June 24 and observed that the order was likely to be pronounced in a day or two.

Justice Misra, however, observed that the stay order is normally pronounced the same day and not reserved. “It’s unusual,” he observed, and added the court would like to wait for the high court order to get the clear picture on the issue. At the outset, the top court told Mr Singhvi that pronouncing any order at this stage would be prejudging the issue.

“We will be pre-judging the issue if we pass any order at this stage. It is not some other court but the high court,” the bench told Mr Singhvi.

The high court had on Friday paused Mr Kejriwal’s release after the trial court granted him bail on June 20. The AAP national convener, who was arrested by the ED on March 21, could have walked out of Tihar Jail on Friday had the high court not granted the interim relief to the anti-money laundering agency.

In its bail order, the trial court had held that prima facie Mr Kejriwal’s guilt was yet to be established and that the ED had failed to furnish direct evidence linking him to the “proceeds of crime” in the money laundering case.

The excise policy was scrapped in 2022 after the Delhi lieutenant-governor ordered a CBI probe into alleged irregularities and corruption involving its formulation and execution.

According to the ED and CBI, irregularities were committed while modifying the policy and undue favours extended to the licence-holders.

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