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Trial Court Says ED Acting Against Arvind Kejriwal With Bias, But Delhi HC Halts His Release

While granting bail, the court had said that the ED has failed to provide any evidence directly linking Kejriwal to the proceeds of crime.
Arvind Kejriwal in a video address on May 12.

New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Friday (June 21) halted the release of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on bail after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) moved the court challenging the trial court’s bail order in the alleged Delhi excise policy scam case.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S.V. Raju appeared for the ED and asked for an urgent stay, saying that he was not given the opportunity to present his arguments. “I am moving for an urgent stay. The order was pronounced yesterday at 8. The order is not uploaded. We were not given a clear opportunity to oppose bail,” he said, according to Bar and Bench.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Kejriwal, argued against a stay, but the court did not heed his arguments.

“The bail order will not be given effect. We have not passed the final order. You may argue for as much as you can,” a vacation bench of Justices Sudhir Kumar Jain and Ravinder Dudeja said.

Though Raju said the court’s order granting bail was not available, it was released on Friday and made critical comments on the ED’s actions.

Delhi court finds bias in ED action

In its order granting bail to Kejriwal on Thursday, a Delhi court has said that the Enforcement Directorate – which comes under the BJP-led Union government – is acting with bias against the Aam Aadmi Party leader.

The court said that the ED has failed to provide any evidence directly linking Kejriwal to the proceeds of crime. Vacation judge Niyay Bindu of Rouse Avenue Courts observed that since ED knew that the evidence on record was not sufficient to proceed against Kejriwal, it was taking time to procure the same in any manner, Livelaw reported.

“The court has to take a pause to consider this argument which is not a potable submission that investigation is an art because if it is so, then, any person can be implicated and kept behind the bars by artistically procuring the material against him after artistically avoiding/withdrawing exculpatory material from the record. This very scenario constrains the court to draw an inference against the investigating agency that it is not acting without bias,” the court said.

It added that the ED should be “prompt and fair”.

The court observed that ED had not responded on certain issues raised by Kejriwal, like that he was not named either in CBI case or in the ECIR FIR.

“Secondly, the allegations against the applicant have surfaced after the subsequent statements of certain co- accused. Thirdly, this is also an admitted fact that the accused has not been summoned by the court till date, yet, he is lying in the judicial custody at the instance of ED on the pretext of the investigation being still going on,” the court said, according to Livelaw.

The judge also said that ED has not shown anything on record that co-accused Vijay Nair was acting upon the directions of Kejriwal.

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