SC Grants Bail To AAP Leader Sanjay Singh In Delhi Excise Policy Scam Case

SC Grants Bail To AAP Leader Sanjay Singh A Day After Kejriwal's Custody Was Extended In Delhi Excise Policy Scam Case

New Delhi: In a significant development, the Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case linked to the Delhi excise policy scam. The jubilant AAP described this as a "big day for democracy in the country, a moment of happiness and hope".

Mocking the AAP for "celebrating" a regular bail to Singh, the BJP claimed that the party can no longer claim "vendetta politics".

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna, Dipankar Datta and P.B. Varale ordered Singh to be released after the ED said it had no objections. The AAP leader was in jail for six months. 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 struggling with a leadership crisis in the run-up to the parliamentary polls commencing on April 19. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his former deputy Manish Sisodia are lodged in Tihar Jail in connection with the case.

Celebrations erupted at Singh’s residence as his family members and supporters distributed sweets among people. Reacting to the development, Singh’s wife Anita Singh said the happiness is incomplete with three of her “brothers” -- Kejriwal, Sisodia and Satyendar Jain -- still behind bars. Describing her husband’s bail as the “victory of truth”, she said the AAP will celebrate when all its leaders are cleared in the case.

Welcoming the apex court decision to enlarge Singh on bail, the AAP leaders, in a joint press conference, claimed that the court order “exposed” that the entire liquor scam case was based on statements “extorted” from witnesses and approvers. “This is a big day for democracy in the country and a moment of happiness and hope,” Delhi minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said in the press conference.

Reacting to the AAP claiming bail for Singh is a “clean chit to him”, the BJP hit back by saying that by that logic, the party has accepted that Kejriwal is the “kingpin of the scam”.

The top court clarified that the concession of bail granted to Singh will not be treated as “precedent”. In view of the clarification by the bench, the bail order in favour of Singh may not be of much consequence to other jailed AAP leaders, including Kejriwal.

Additional solicitor-general S.V. Raju, appearing for the ED, said he has taken instructions from the probe agency and 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,” Raju said.

Taking note of Raju’s statement, the bench ordered, “The ASG states they have no objections if 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 Singh be released on bail during the pendency of trial on terms and conditions set by the trial court”.

During the hearing of 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 `2 crore bribe allegations can be tested in the trial.

Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, representing Singh, said the AAP leader was arrested on the basis of approver Dinesh Arora, who named him in his tenth statement. The ED had arrested Singh on October 4 last year.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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