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Delhi excise policy case: SC adjourns for June 26 plea of Kejriwal against interim stay on his release

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned for June 26 the plea of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal challenging the order of the Delhi High Court granting interim stay on bail to him in the Delhi excise policy case probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
A vacation bench of Justices Manoj Misra and SVN Bhatti observed that the decision of the High Court to grant an interim stay on Kejriwal's bail without passing a final order in the matter was "unusual."
"In stay matters, judgements are not reserved but passed on the spot. What has happened here is unusual. We will have it (the case before it) the day after," the bench said.
On June 21, the High Court ordered an interim stay on bail while reserving its order. The order of the High Court had come on a plea of the Enforcement Directorate seeking stay on the release of Kejriwal.
Kejriwal then filed an appeal in the top court against the High Court order.
During the hearing today, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju told the bench that the High Court would shortly pronounce the order on the stay application and requested adjournment of the case.
The apex court then said that it would be appropriate to wait for the final order, which is to be pronounced by the High Court in a day or two.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Kejriwal, questions the High Court order granting stay on bail on the first day of hearing.
He submitted that the procedure of staying on bail on the first day is unprecedented. "Suppose the High Court dismisses ED's appeal, how does the judge compensate for the time he (Kejriwal) lost?," Singhvi asked.
Singhvi argued that at 10:30 am on June 21, the order of the High Court was passed without any reason, and arguments were heard after it stayed the order of bail.
The senior counsel further said that there are several Supreme Court judgements that hold that bail, once granted, cannot be stayed without special reasons.
As Singhvi requested the bench pass an order on the plea, the apex court said, "If it passes an order now, it will be pre-judging the issue. It is not a subordinate court; it is a high court.".
Senior advocate Vikram Chaudhary, also appearing for Kejriwal, told the top court that Kejriwal does not have any criminal antecedents and is not a flight risk.
On June 20, the trial judge granted bail to Kejriwal in the money laundering case.
The next day, the ED moved an urgent petition before the High Court challenging the bail order. The High Court heard both sides extensively reserve orders on the ED's application to stay the bail order, and it halted the release of Kejriwal until the pronouncement of its order.

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