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Delhi High Court stops release of Arvind Kejriwal from jail, agrees to hear ED’s plea against his bail order on urgent basis

The Enforcement Directorate moved the High Court against the bail order today, saying that it was not allowed to argue opposing the bail plea by the court

A day after Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal was granted bail by a Delhi court in the Excise Police Scam case, the Delhi High Court stayed his release from jail while agreeing to hear ED’s plea against the bail order on an urgent basis. Notably, Special Judge Niyay Bindu of Rouse Avenue Courts had issued the bail order at around 8 PM yesterday, and the detailed judgement was not uploaded due to lack of time.

The Enforcement Directorate moved the High Court against the bail order today, saying that it was not allowed to argue opposing the bail plea by the court. Additional Solicitor General SV Raju argued on behalf of ED, moving an urgent stay of the bail order. He said, “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.”

The ASG argued that he was asked to complete his argument quickly, and his arguments were curtailed. He said that ED’s prayer for a stay on the bail order wasn’t even considered by the court. “I am demanding that the order be stayed and the matter be heard as soon as possible. We were denied the full opportunity to argue the case. I am making allegations with full seriousness,” the ASG said.

SV Raju quoted Bar and Bench saying that his arguments were curtailed. Kejriwal’s counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi opposed the ED’s plea, saying there are several Supreme Court judgements saying that cancellation of bail is radically different from grant of bail.

However, the Delhi High Court’s vacation bench of Justices Sudhir Kumar Jain and Ravinder Dudeja allowed ED’s plea to list the matter urgently for today itself. The court ordered that the lower court’s order granting bail to Arvind Kejriwal will not be given effect before it hears the ED plea. The bench said that it will take up the matter after the files reach the court, and listed the matter for today, 21 June.

Special Judge Niyay Bindu of the Rouse Avenue Court yesterday granted bail to Kejriwal for a bond of ₹1 lakh. The ED had sought 48 hours to appeal against the order, requesting a stay, but the court refused the plea.

As the bail order was granted late in the evening, Arvind Kejriwal was expected to be released today from Tihar jail. But with High Court accepting ED’s request to hear its plea challenging the bail order and staying his release, he will now remain in jail till the High Court issues an order.

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