SC denies interim relief to CM Kejriwal, posts matter for hearing on Wednesday

In a big jolt to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Supreme Court on Monday denied passing any interim direction against the stay ordered by the Delhi High Court on his release on bail.
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In a big jolt to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Supreme Court on Monday denied passing any interim direction against the stay ordered by the Delhi High Court on his release on bail.

Without passing any interim relief in CM Kejriwal’s favour, a vacation bench of Justices Manoj Misra and SVN Bhatti adjourned the proceedings saying that it will take up the matter for hearing on Wednesday as the Delhi High Court is likely to pronounce its decision on ED’s plea for interim stay in a day or two.

During the hearing, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing CM Kejriwal, objected to the stay granted by the Delhi High Court in the first hearing itself.

Singhvi said that it is a well-established principle of law that standards of grant of bail and cancellation of bail are wholly different, adding that bail once allowed shouldn’t be ordinarily reversed.

Further, he pointed out that an interim stay was granted on ED’s appeal even when the trial order granting bail was not uploaded and the order staying release on bail was passed by the Delhi HC without recording any reasons.

Singhvi argued that the SC while reserving its judgment on Kejriwal’s plea assailing the validity of ED arrest and subsequent remand, had granted specific liberty to approach the trial court for bail in a money laundering case linked to alleged excise policy scam.

Opposing this, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, representing ED, said that the trial court did not go through the papers and the same is recorded in the impugned bail order.

“How could an order be passed without going through the paper? It is a perverse order,” submitted SG Mehta, adding that the twin conditions provided under Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for grant of bail were not met.

In an interim direction, the Delhi High Court on June 21 stayed the release of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo on the Enforcement Directorate’s plea challenging the trial court's bail order.

Halting CM Kejriwal's release, a vacation bench of Justices Sudhir Kumar Jain and Ravinder Dudeja of the high court directed that the bail order should not be enforced until the matter is heard in full. Later that day, the Delhi High Court reserved its order on ED’s plea for interim stay and said that it would pass its order in two to three days.

The ED had requested the trial court on Thursday for a 48-hour deferral in signing the bail bond following the pronouncement of the order. However, the trial court firmly denied the ED's plea for a stay on its order granting bail.

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