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Delhi High Court Criticizes Trial Court's Decision, Halts Arvind Kejriwal's Bail

In a significant setback for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday stayed a trial court’s order that had granted him bail in a money laundering case related to the now-scrapped excise policy. A vacation bench led by Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain stated that the trial court had not properly considered […]

In a significant setback for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday stayed a trial court’s order that had granted him bail in a money laundering case related to the now-scrapped excise policy.

A vacation bench led by Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain stated that the trial court had not properly considered the matter when granting bail to Kejriwal.

The High Court also criticized the lower court for its view that the ‘voluminous material’ submitted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) could not be taken into account, calling this stance ‘totally unjustified’.

The court remarked, “Observation by the trial court that voluminous material cannot be considered is totally unjustified, and it shows that the trial court has not applied its mind to the material.”

Additionally, the court emphasized that the trial court should have allowed the ED a “proper opportunity” to present its case.

The court accepted the ED’s contention that the trial court judge failed to consider the dual conditions under Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

“This court is of the opinion that Section 45 PMLA has not been properly discussed by the trial court,” it noted.

Kejriwal was taken into custody by the ED in March concerning the Delhi excise policy case. On May 10, the Supreme Court granted him interim bail to enable his participation in election campaigning, directing him to surrender by June 2.

Subsequently, on June 20, the trial court granted him regular bail, which the High Court stayed on June 21, even before the bail order was officially released.

Following the High Court’s decision to stay the bail, Kejriwal approached the Supreme Court against the interim stay.

However, the Supreme Court opted to wait for the Delhi High Court’s final decision on his bail, scheduling the matter for Wednesday.

A vacation bench comprising Justices Manoj Misra and SVN Bhatti noted that the Delhi High Court’s interim stay was “unusual” and commented that stay orders are typically not reserved and are announced on the same day.

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Arvind KejriwalDelhi High courtExcise policy caseTDGThe Daily GuardianTrial Court