On Brink Of Release, Arvind Kejriwal's Bail Paused Till New Court Decision

The Delhi High Court said it was reserving the order on Arvind Kejriwal's bail for 2-3 days as it wanted to go through the entire records.

New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court today halted Arvind Kejriwal's anticipated release on bail after an urgent petition filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) just hours before the Delhi Chief Minister was set to leave Tihar jail. The court said till it heard the probe agency's petition, which could take another 2-3 days, Mr Kejriwal would remain in jail.

The high court also issued notice to Mr Kejriwal seeking his response on ED's plea challenging the trial court's June 20 order by which he was granted bail.

"Till the pronouncement of this order, the operation of the impugned order shall remain stayed," a vacation bench of Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain said.

The court said it was reserving the order for 2-3 days as it wanted to go through the entire records.

Earlier today, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju, representing the ED, argued against the trial court's decision to grant bail to Mr Kejriwal, labelling it as "perverse" and highlighting serious procedural irregularities. "The trial court's order is completely flawed. The court said there was no direct proof. That's a wrong statement by the court," Mr Raju said before the bench comprising Justices Sudhir Kumar Jain and Ravinder Dudeja.

"We showed material but nothing considered. There are two ways when bail can be cancelled. If relevant facts are not considered and irrelevant facts are considered, that is grounds for cancellation of bail. I am saying look at the soundness of the order. Could have granted bail but not in this manner. Totally perverse order," he added.

The Additional Solicitor General said that the trial court arrived on the decision based on wrong facts. "On wrong facts, wrong dates, you come to a conclusion that mala fide. But why, the reason is missing. My note not considered, not allowed to argue. The arrest was challenged. The remanding court said the arrest was correct. It was challenged before this court. The single judge said nothing wrong with the arrest," he said.

Citing a 2014 Supreme Court precedent, Mr Raju underscored the importance of ensuring that bail decisions are based on sound legal reasoning and comprehensive evaluation of all pertinent facts. "The trial court should not have overlooked relevant aspects and should not have relied on irrelevant considerations," he asserted.

"The court did not hear our arguments, did not properly examine the evidence we provided, and dismissed our concerns without due consideration," he added.

The ED arrested Mr Kejriwal over money laundering allegations while framing the Delhi liquor policy for 2021-22, which was later scrapped after the Lieutenant Governor raised red flags. The ED has alleged the money Mr Kejriwal got from the liquor sellers was used to fund the party's campaign in Goa since he is the convenor of the AAP.