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Delhi Court granted bail to Arvind Kejriwal without reading ED documents saying it has no time to read thousands of pages, ED calls it a “totally perverse order”

In the judgement, Special Judge Niyay Bindu of Rouse Avenue Courts said that it is not possible to go through thousands of pages of documents at this juncture.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was granted bail by Special Judge Niyay Bindu of Rouse Avenue Courts yesterday evening, the detailed order of which was uploaded today. The Enforcement Directorate moved the High Court against the bail order today, and now it has been revealed that the lower court called ED’s arrest of Kejriwal ‘mala fide’ and granted bail without reading documents submitted by both parties.

In the judgement, the judge said that it is not possible to go through thousands of pages of documents at this juncture. But the court still decided that ED’s action was mala fide and granted bail to Arvind Kejriwal. The court also refused to hear ED’s arguments against the bail, and had asked ED’s counsel to present his arguments very briefly. The bail order was issued hurriedly at around 8 pm yesterday, and the order was not uploaded due to lack of time.

Arguing against the bail order, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju said that the trial court didn’t hear ED’s arguments, didn’t look at documents given by ED saying it is voluminous. “Court says bulky documents have been filed. There can’t be any more perverse order than this,” the ASG said. He said that it is the duty of the court to go through the submitted documents.

“Without going through documents filed by both sides, without giving us opportunity the matter is decided. It is the duty of court to pass order in accordance with law. Without going to documents how can you say it’s relevant or not relevant?” the ED counsel said.

The ASG also said that Kejriwal’s side made a wrong statement and the court accepted it. He said that trial court order mentions that ECIR is from 22 August 2022 but the ECIR was registered in July 2022. “If you’d gone to documents you would have known that the ECIR was registered in August. So there was no question of material being available in July,” SV Raju argued. He added, “On Wrong facts, wrong dates, you come to a conclusion that mala fide.”

The ED also argued in the High Court that the lower court disregarded the earlier High Court order in this matter, which had found merits in the arrest and remanded the Delhi CM to ED custody and then jail. The ASG also pointed out that the SC didn’t stay the HC order, and therefore the lower court can’t decide in Arvind Kejriwal’s favour.

The ASG said, “Compare the judgment with the findings.  This court says no mala fide. She gives a finding on mala fide on same facts. SC has not said that you decide uninfluenced by that judgment.” He argued that bail can be cancelled on two grounds, if relevant facts are not considered and irrelevant facts considered.

He said that HC had justified Kejriwal’s arrest after he had ignored 9 summons by ED, and now the lower court gave a opposite verdict, and said it is a “totally perverse order”.

The High Court expressed surprise that the lower court didn’t consider its judgement in the case while issuing the bail order. “You are saying all these points were not considered? You are saying the points which were elaborately dealt with by the HC have not been considered?” the bench asked.

The High Court vacation bench of Justices Sudhir Kumar Jain and Ravinder Dudeja will resume hearing arguments after the lunch break.

The bench earlier stopped release of Kejriwal from jail, and agreed to hear ED’s plea against the bail on an urgent basis. The ED says that the court granted bail to Kejriwal without hearing it and without reading documents submitted by the agency.

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