Kejriwal’s bail paused; ED disputes Delhi court ruling.

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  • In a big setback for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi High Court on Friday paused a lower court’s order granting him bail in a money laundering case linked to the now scrapped excise policy. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had challenged the trial court’s bail order. A vacation bench of Justices Sudhir Kumar Jain and Ravinder Dudeja paused the trial court’s proceedings, saying, “Stay till the High Court takes up the matter. No proceedings to commence before the trial court (Rouse Avenue) till the Delhi High Court hears the case.” At the Rouse Avenue court on Thursday, a vacation bench of Justice Nyay Bindu allowed bail to Kejriwal while also declining the ED’s request for a 48-hour stay on the order.
  • After the Delhi High Court took up the matter for hearing, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju, representing the ED, stated that he was not given the “full opportunity” to argue his case, adding that he was not heard properly by the trial court judge and was asked to be brief.”There can’t be a more perverse order than this. Without going through documents filed by both sides, without giving us opportunity the matter is decided,” he said. He argued that he was not given sufficient time to argue the case or to file written submissions, and expressed his frustration with the process by stating, “My arguments were curtailed before the vacation judge. We haven’t been given the option of a rejoinder also. This is not fair at all.”Citing Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), Raju urged the court to stay the bail order and allow the matter to be heard at length. Senior advocate Vikram Chaudhary appeared for Arvind Kejriwal, defending against the ED’s challenge. “All these submissions are not correct. They argued at length. Seven hours of arguments are not enough? Someone should gracefully accept something,” Chaudhary retorted. Raju countered, insisting on the urgency of a stay. “This cannot stay for a day where the public prosecutor was denied the opportunity to even argue.”
  • Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 21 in dramatic scenes just ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. In May, he was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court in view of general elections. He surrendered on June 2. AAP MP Sanjay Singh condemned the Delhi High Court’s decision and accused the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government of making a mockery of the judiciary.

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