Excise policy 'scam': SC fixes June 26 for hearing Kejriwal's plea against HC's stay order on bail

The Supreme Court on Monday fixed June 26 for hearing Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's plea against the Delhi High Court order putting interim stay on his bail in the money laundering case linked to the alleged excise scam.
Dellhi CM Arvind Kejriwal
Dellhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi | The Supreme Court on Monday fixed June 26 for hearing Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's plea against the Delhi High Court order putting interim stay on his bail in the money laundering case linked to the alleged excise scam.

A vacation bench of Justices Manoj Misra and SVN Bhatti said it would like to wait for the pronouncement of the high court order on the matter.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for Kejriwal, sought vacating of the interim stay on the bail order.

Stating that Kejriwal is not a flight risk, Singhvi urged the bench to stay the high court order before it is being pronounced.

"I know what I am asking. This court must stay the high court order before it is being pronounced just like the high court had stayed the bail order on mere mentioning by the Enforcement Directorate," he submitted.

ASG SV Raju, appearing for the ED, opposed the plea of Kejriwal, and said the high court is about to pronounce the verdict on its stay application.

The bench noted that the high court had on June 21 asked the parties to file written submissions till June 24 and observed that the order is likely to be pronounced in a day or two.

Justice Misra, however, observed that the stay order is normally pronounced the same day and not reserved.

"It's unusual," he observed and added that the court would like to wait for the high court order to get the clear picture on the issue.

The bench at the outset told Singhvi that pronouncing any order at this stage would be prejudging the issue.

"We will be pre-judging the issue, if we pass any order at this stage. It is not some other court but the high court," the bench told Singhvi.

The high court had on Friday paused Kejriwal's release after the trial court granted him bail on June 20.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 21, could have walked out of Tihar jail on Friday last had the high court not granted the interim stay relief to the federal anti-money laundering agency.

In its bail order, the trial court had held that prima facie, Kejriwal's guilt was yet to be established and that the ED had failed to furnish direct evidence linking him to the proceeds of crime in the money laundering case.

The excise policy was scrapped in 2022 after the Delhi lieutenant governor ordered a CBI probe into alleged irregularities and corruption involving its formulation and execution. According to the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), irregularities were committed while modifying the policy and undue favours extended to the licence holders.

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