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Kejriwal moves SC against Delhi HC order blocking his release in Liquor Policy case; plea seeking urgent hearing likely to be mentioned today

By Jhanak Singh      24 June, 2024 10:47 AM      0 Comments
Kejriwal moves SC against Delhi HC order blocking his release in Liquor Policy case plea seeking urgent hearing likely to be mentioned today

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has moved the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court decision to put on hold for “two-three days” the order of the trial court granting him bail in the liquor policy case.

The Delhi High Court on Friday put a hold on the trial court granting bail to Kejriwal until it decides the ED’s plea seeking a stay on the Rouse Avenue court order. The HC said it is staying the trial court order for two-three days and reserved the order on the ED plea.

Challenging the Delhi High Court order, Kejriwal moved the Supreme Court, and his legal team will mention the plea in the Supreme Court on Monday for an urgent hearing. Kejriwal has questioned the sustainability of the Delhi High Court order.

The HC order came on the ED plea challenging the trial court order. The trial court on Thursday granted bail to Kejriwal, observing that the ED had failed to provide any direct evidence against him regarding the proceeds of the crime.

However, this fact, among others, was denied by the ED in the Delhi High Court, which called the trial court order perverse, as the lower court did not give the probe agency a proper opportunity to present its arguments.

Justifying its argument against Kejriwal, the ED stated that if an offense is committed by AAP, the person responsible for its conduct will also be held responsible due to the principle of vicarious liability. The probe agency argued that if AAP committed an offense with Kejriwal’s consent and connivance, he should also be deemed guilty.

The ED argued that the trial court’s order had serious procedural irregularities.

On the other hand, Kejriwal’s lawyer defended the trial court order and opposed the ED’s plea seeking a stay on the order.

In its order copy, the trial court said that “ED is silent on certain issues raised by the applicant (Kejriwal), such as that he was not named either in the CBI case or in the ECIR FIR.” The allegations against Kejriwal surfaced after the subsequent statements of certain co-accused, the trial court noted. It further observed that it is an admitted fact that the accused, Kejriwal, has not been summoned by the court to date, yet he is lying in judicial custody at the instance of the ED on the pretext of the investigation still being ongoing.

“ED has not shown anything on record that Vijay Nair was acting upon the directions of the applicant. It has also failed to establish that even if Vinod Chauhan has close relations with Charanpreet, how the same is going to help ED establish the guilt of the applicant (Kejriwal), even if the applicant has an acquaintance with both of these co-accused. ED has also failed to clarify how it came to the conclusion that the sum of rupees one crore attached from Vinod Chauhan was part of the proceeds of the crime. ED is also not clarifying how the alleged amount of rupees 40 crores being traced out during the investigation forms a part of the proceeds of the crime. It seems that ED also believes that the evidence on record is not sufficient to proceed against the applicant, and it is taking time to procure the same in any manner whatsoever to convince the court regarding the availability of evidence against the applicant. The investigating agency should be prompt and fair so that it can be perceived that the principles of natural justice are also being followed by the agency,” the trial court said in its order copy.

Countering the trial court decision, ED argued in the Delhi HC that the probe agency’s case is that Kejriwal is guilty of money laundering on two counts—one in an individual capacity for demanding money, and the other because he is vicariously liable since AAP is guilty of the offense of money laundering. ED claimed that Aam Aadmi Party used this money in the election campaign of AAP candidates and events.

Kejriwal was arrested by the ED on March 21 in connection with a money laundering case relating to alleged irregularities in the liquor policy case. However, he succeeded in getting interim bail from the Supreme Court on May 10 in view of the Lok Sabha polls. He surrendered on June 2 after the expiry of his interim bail period.



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