Thursday, June 20, 2024

AAP leader Sanjay Singh gets bail in Delhi excise policy scam case


New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh in a money laundering case related to the Delhi excise policy scam after the Enforcement Directorate said it had no objections, in a reprieve to the party whose top leadership is behind bars.

Singh, who has been in jail for six months, was ordered to be released by a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna, Dipankar Datta and P B Varale.

The bench said the AAP leader can continue with his political activities but cannot make any statements with regard to the case.

His release comes at a time when the AAP is grappling with a leadership vacuum ahead of the Lok Sabha polls which are set to begin on April 19.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his former deputy Manish Sisodia are lodged in Tihar Jail in connection with the case.

The bench said Singh will remain out on bail during the course of the entire trial and that the terms and conditions for the bail will be fixed by the special court.

During the post-lunch session, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the ED, said he has taken instructions from the probe agency and it has no objections if Singh is enlarged on bail.

“I am making the statement without going into the merits of the case and keeping all the rights and contentions open,” he said.

Taking note of the statement, the bench ordered, “In the morning session ASG SV Raju was asked to obtain instructions. He states they have no objections if Sanjay Singh is released on bail in proceedings arising out of the FIR…In view of the statement made, we allow the present appeal and direct that Sanjay Singh be released on bail during pendency of trial on terms and conditions set by the trial court.”

The bench said the concession of bail granted to Singh will not be treated as “precedent”. Consequently this bail order may not be of much help to other jailed AAP leaders, including Kejriwal.

Earlier, in the morning session the bench had asked Raju to take instructions on whether the ED needed further custody of Singh.

The top court was hearing Singh’s plea for bail and an appeal challenging his arrest and remand in the money laundering case.

The bench told Raju that no money has been recovered from his possession and the Rs 2 crore bribe allegations can be tested in the trial.

Raju said he will respond to the submissions of Singh against his arrest and remand in the post-lunch session.

During the hearing, senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for Singh, said the AAP leader was arrested on the basis of approver Dinesh Arora, who in the tenth statement recorded before the agency has named him.

Singh was arrested in the case by the ED on October 4 last year.

Before the high court, Singh had sought bail on the grounds that he has been in custody for over three months and no role has been attributed to him in the predicate offence.

The probe agency had in the high court opposed the bail plea and claimed that Singh was involved in acquiring, possessing, concealing, dissipating and using proceeds of the crime generated from the Delhi liquor scam pertaining to the policy period of 2021-22.

The agency had further claimed that the AAP leader has gained illegal money or kickbacks which are proceeds of crime generated from the liquor policy (2021-22) scam and that he has also played a role in conspiracy with others.

AAP MLAs meets Sunita Kejriwal

AAP MLAs on Tuesday met Arvind Kejriwal’s wife Sunita Kejriwal and asserted that the Delhi chief minister should continue to run the government from jail and not step down.

Kejriwal is in judicial custody till April 15 after his arrest last month by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money-laundering case linked to his government’s now-scrapped excise policy.


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