Can Sanjay Singh’s bail order help others to get relief? Here’s what Court said

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh was granted bail by the Supreme Court in the Delhi excise policy-linked money laundering case after the Enforcement Directorate conceded that it had no objections.

A three-judge bench of the top court comprising justices Sanjiv Khanna, Dipankar Datta and P B Varale ordered the release of Singh, who had been in jail for six months, observing that no money had been recovered from his possession and there was no trace of it.

The concession by the Enforcement Directorate came an hour after the court made some reams about the agency’s case against Singh, posed some questions to it, and suggested that instructions be taken on whether he is needed in further custody.

While granting bail, the court, however, clarified that the concession cannot be treated as precedent, after a request seeking the same was made by the agency’s counsel.

What does this statement mean & why is it important?

The Supreme Court’s statement that the bail concession cannot be treated as a precedent would essentially mean that other accused in this case cannot rely on this order to seek bail in their respective cases.

The Enforcement Directorate will not in any way be mandated to grant the same concession to other accused based on today’s order, the Court’s statement essentially means.

The other courts would also not be bound by this order to similarly grant bail, since the top court has itself clarified so.

What does it mean for other AAP leaders in this case?

Amongst other accused, Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who, like Sanjay Singh, is accused only in the money laundering case, will also not be able to rely on today’s order for relief.

However, it’s important to note that the issues flagged by the Supreme Court today, in Sanjay Singh’s case, have also been highlighted by Kejriwal’s lawyers in his case as well.

The court today told the agency that it will have to consider that the accused turned approver did not make the name Sanjay Singh in the first nine statements.

Kejriwal’s arguments have also been similar when his lawyers have claimed that he wasn’t named in the initial statements made by accused-turned-approver Sharath Reddy and Raghav Magunta.

The court also told the agency today that no money has been recovered in Singh’s case. Kejriwal’s lawyers have also claimed that no money has been recovered from him.

So, while its true today’s concession cannot be claimed by Kejriwal as precedent, his team can refer to the court’s observations to make their case strong. However, if the same were to hold any value, it would only be persuasive and not binding.

Another AAP leader and Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister, Manish Sisodia, has been made an accused by both the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the case related to Delhi excise policy, unlike Sanjay Singh who was only an accused in the money laundering case.

He has already been denied bail right from the lower court to the top court. He recently moved a fresh bail plea before a lower court and arguments are yet to conclude in that matter.

Published By:

Sudeep Lavania

Published On:

Apr 3, 2024

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