Supreme Court to hear Kejriwal's appeal against Delhi HC's bail stay in liquor case today

On Thursday, June 20, in a major relief to Kejriwal, Rouse Avenue Court's Vacation Judge, in New Delhi, Niyay Bindu, passed the order, and had granted him bail in the Delhi liquor case.
Supreme Court cancels bail given by Madras HC to eight PFI men booked under UAPA
Supreme Court cancels bail given by Madras HC to eight PFI men booked under UAPA

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday would hear the appeal filed by Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal challenging the Friday's Delhi High Court's order staying his bail, in the Delhi liquor case.

A two-judge vacation bench of the top court, led by Justice Manoj Misra and Justice S V N Bhatti would hear today Kejriwal's appeal. The matter is listed as item number 44 in the bench, so it is expected that the matter would likely come up for hearing at around 12pm.

Delhi High Court's Vacation bench of Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain, had on Friday stayed the trial court's order of granting Kejriwal the bail and reserved the judgement on the ED's appeal, and said that he would pass the order on ED's stay appeal in 2-3 days, and might be on Tuesday, June 25.

So this has prompted the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Convenor, Kejriwal to move the top court on Sunday challenging the HC's stay on his bail.

Kejriwal's legal team told this newspaper that they would mention the matter on June 24, Monday, before a vacation bench of the top court and would seek urgent listing and hearing in the case. "We have filed an appeal in the top court challenging the HC order of staying the bail of Kejriwal," lawyer Sanjeeev Nasiar, legal team member of Kejriwal told TNIE.

It is to be noted that the Delhi HC judge Justice Jain had on Friday said that he would likely pass the order in the ED's appeal challenging the trial court's order, of granting bail to Kejriwal, likely on June 25, Tuesday.

The HC order was a big setback for Kejriwal.

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On Thursday, June 20, in a major relief to Kejriwal, Rouse Avenue Court's Vacation Judge, in New Delhi, Niyay Bindu, passed the order, and had granted him bail in the Delhi liquor case.

Kejriwal is the prime accused in the now scrapped Delhi liquor case. The court granted Kejriwal bail after directing him to furnish a personal bail bond of Rs 1 lakh. 

Soon after the pronouncement of the order by Judge Bindu, yesterday evening, the ED, which is probing the Delhi liquor case along with the CBI, requested the court to give 48 hours to sign the bail bond so that the order may be challenged by the probe agency before the appellate court.

The judge, however, did not allow the prayer of the ED and refused to stay the order. It ordered that the bail bond is to be produced before the duty judge by Friday.

The trial court also made it clear to the ED that there was no stay on the bail order.

Challenging the trial court order, the ED had moved on appeal in the Delhi HC seeking stay of his bail.

During the course of the hearing on Thursday in the HC, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju, for the ED, had argued that the trial court's bail order was "perverse" as it was contrary to the mandate of Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. "The trial court order shall be immediately stayed. We are not given an opportunity to represent our case in the trial court. When I try to submit, the trial court said I have to deliver judgment. Be brief," he said.

Opposing the submissions of the ED, senior advocate Vikram Chaudhari, for Kejriwal, raised a preliminary objection to the listing of the matter during the vacations because the trial judge had granted bail through a resend order. "What is the justification of approaching (by the ED) the HC," he questioned the ED's move.

"What is the anxiety to get it listed in the vacations? There is no question of a stay," he said.

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The ASG Raju further elaborated to the SC  that we showed material in the trial court, but nothing was considered. There are two ways when bail can be cancelled. If relevant facts are not considered and irrelevant facts considered, that is a ground for cancellation of bail.

On the other hand, senior advocate, Abhishek Manu Singvhi, said that the ED's approach was "deplorable".

"The accused (Kejriwal) cannot be kept indefinitely in jail merely for the investigating agency to find evidence. It is very unfortunate that the ASG is maligning the judge merely because an adverse order was passed," he said.

Opposing the argument of ASG that he was not given an opportunity to argue, Singhvi went on to say that the hearing in the trial court lasted for five hours out of which ED took 3.45 hours and the rest by Kejriwal's lawyer. "Therefore, where is the question of ED being denied the opportunity to present its case," Singhvi pointed out and rejected his submissions.

On June 5, Delhi's same court Judge Kaveri Baweja rejected Kejriwal's bail plea on thr ground that hus involvement in the crime could not be ruled out. 

The ED had told the Court that he was the mastermind and main conspirator in the Delhi liquor case. "We have all the evidence against him,"the ASG Raju told the court.

A day after his plea was rejected by the Delhi High Court on April 9, Kejriwal had on April 10 moved the Supreme Court against the dismissal of plea of his arrest and remand in the case.

The accused, Kejriwal claimed innocence in the liquor gate scam case and had told the Court, during the hearings that the timing of his arrest right after the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is to humiliate, insult, and disable him and his political party.

The ASG Raju said that there are sufficient evidences against him and he is the main criminal conspirator in the Delhi liquor scam case.

Earlier on May 10, the Supreme Court in its order granted bail to Kejriwal till June 01 to participate in election campaigns, and asked him to surrender on June 02, while imposing certain conditions on him. He was in Tihar jail since March 21, for his alleged involvement in the Delhi liquor case.

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