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Supreme Court grants bail to AAP leader Sanjay Singh in Delhi Liquor Policy scam case after ED submitted it has no objection

After ED informed the court that it no longer required his custody, the bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna, Dipankar Datta, and Prasanna B Varale granted bail to the AAP leader.

In a major relief for Aam Aadmi Party, the Supreme Court on Tuesday (2nd March) granted bail to AAP leader Sanjay Singh in the Delhi Liquor Policy scam case. Notably, the Enforcement Directorate had submitted before the court that it had no objection to the AAP leader’s bail plea.

After ED informed the court that it no longer required his custody, the bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna, Dipankar Datta, and Prasanna B Varale granted bail to the AAP leader.

Before the lunch break, the bench had asked Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju to seek instructions on whether Singh’s further custody was required or not. 

ED said they no longer need Sanjay Singh’s custody

Later in the afternoon, ASG Raju said though the ED had an arguable case, it was ready to concede and thus Singh may be released on bail. 

According to reports, the court noted that if it granted bail to the AAP leader on the merit of the case, despite ED’s opposition, then it could have an implication during the trial of the Liquor policy case. Citing Section 45 of PMLA, the court noted that it is required to provide the Public prosecutor an opportunity to clear their stance on bail plea. 

Notably, under Section 45 of the PMLA, the Court is mandated to allow the Public Prosecutor a chance to contest the bail application of the accused. Furthermore, it specifies that the Court may grant bail to the accused only if it is convinced that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the accused is innocent of the offense and that there is no likelihood of them committing any offense while on bail.

While hearing Singh’s bail plea, the Court remarked, “Mr. Raju please keep in mind we have to as per Section 45 observe in favour of the petitioner, please understand the implications of that during the trial. So get instructions on whether you need further custody.” 

The bench added that businessman Dinesh Arora, the accused-turned-approver in the case, had not implicated Singh in his initial statements.

Following the court’s observation, the ED submitted that it no longer required the custody of the AAP leader, prompting the bench to grant him bail. 

The ED arrested Sanjay Singh on 4th October, last year in the money laundering case stating that he had a role in framing and implementing the now-scrapped Delhi Liquor Policy. 

As per the ED, the controversial policy was aimed at benefiting certain liquor manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. 

Earlier, Singh’s bail plea was rejected by a trial court on 22nd December, the Delhi High Court rejected his bail application on 9th February. Afterward, he moved to the top court to seek bail.

Currently, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and several other AAP leaders are in judicial or agency’s custody in this case.

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