Top Court grants bail to MP Sanjay Singh in Delhi excise gate

NEW DELHI : In a big win for the Aam Admi Party (AAP), the Top  Court granted bail Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh in the Delhi Liquor Policy case. The top court however said that the concession granted to Singh cannot be a precedent. He has, however, been cautioned against commenting on the investigation. The court also said the bail could not be treated as precedent in similar cases.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh and posed tough questions to the Enforcement Directorate – which had arrested Mr Singh – including asking why he had been jailed for over six months without a trial or recovery of alleged bribe of ₹ 2 crore.
“Nothing has been recovered… there is no trace (of money allegedly received by the AAP as bribes for allotting liquor licenses to the ‘South Group’)…” Before the lunch break, according to Bar and Bench, to court asked Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju to get instructions on whether further custody of Singh who was arrested on October 4 last year – was required. After the break, Raju told the bench that though the ED had an arguable case, it was ready to concede and thus Singh may be released on bail.
“I am making this statement (not opposing bail) without going into the merits of the case and keeping all the rights and contentions open,” Mr Raju said.The court earlier observed Dinesh Arora, an accused who turned approver, or government witness, did not implicate Mr Singh in his initial statements. Mr Singh was arrested on the basis of statements by Mr Arora, who got bail in August.
That relief was finally granted this afternoon, after a bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Justice Dipankar Datta, and Justice Prasanna B Varale said Mr Singh could be released during pendency of the trial.
The court said the terms and conditions of the release are to be fixed by the trial court. What is significant, though, is that Mr Singh can participate in political activities, meaning he can campaign for the AAP, which faces a potential shortage of big-name leaders in the run-up to the polls.
Sanjay Singh has been in Delhi’s Tihar Jail since his arrest in October in the alleged liquor policy scam, which has roiled the opposition party – and seen the arrests of Mr Sisodia and his former boss, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal – weeks before the election.
Mr Singh was arrested on money laundering charges linked to the alleged scam. His earlier bail pleas – including in the Delhi High Court – were turned down; in February, in fact, the High Court said “no ground” for relief had been made. The ED then had opposed the bail plea, alleging Mr Singh was involved in acquiring, possessing, concealing, dissipating and using proceeds of the crime generated from the alleged liquor scam.
News of Mr Singh’s release has been welcomed by his colleague and Delhi PWD Minister Atishi, who posted “satyameva jayate”, or “the truth will win”, on X (formerly Twitter). Atishi has been leading the AAP’s fight back and protestations of innocence since Chief Minister Kejriwal was arrested. She claimed four other AAP leaders, including herself, had been earmarked for arrest by central agencies – in connection with the alleged liquor policy scam – if they do not join the BJP. The opposition has routinely accused the BJP of using central agencies to target rivals, particularly before an election. The BJP has equally routinely denied the charges.
Chief Minister Kejriwal was declared the “kingpin” of this alleged scam by the ED and arrested on March 21. Mr Kejriwal, who continues to run the Delhi government, is now in Tihar Jail till April 15.

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