Bail for Sanjay Singh: Bane or Boon for AAP?

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Bail for Sanjay Singh: Bane or Boon for AAP?

Wednesday, 03 April 2024 | Rajesh Kumar | New Delhi

Bail for Sanjay Singh: Bane or Boon for AAP?

In a relief to AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, the Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to him in the money laundering case related to the Delhi liquor policy case after the Enforcement Directorate conceded that it has no objections.

The AAP leader is not supposed to make any public statement regarding the case, the court added, while dismissing as infructuous the second petition filed by Singh challenging his arrest and remand.

The top court decision has brought  a big relief to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in midst of Lok Sabha poll campaigning as two of its top leaders — national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia — are in jail in connection with the case.

The bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna, Dipankar Datta and PB Varale passed the order to grant him bail, who has been in jail for six months, observing that no money has been recovered from his possession and there is no trace of it, while orally commenting that Singh would be entitled to indulge in political activities during the period of bail.

“We clarify that the concession given in the court today would not be treated as a precedent. We also clarify that we have not made any comments on the merits of the case. The impugned judgment is set aside and the appeal is allowed and disposed of in the above terms,” the court said in its order.

The bench ordered that the AAP leader can continue with his political activities but cannot make any statements with regard to the case. It 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 out 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 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 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 Arvind Kejriwal. The bench clarified that the bail was granted to Singh on the concession granted by the ED and not on merits.

As AAP MP Sanjay was given bail by the Supreme Court in the liquor “scam” case on Tuesday, the atmosphere was jubilant at Singh’s residence as supporters with “dhol and nagada” gathered outside his house to celebrate the bail.

They raised slogans like “Jail ke taale toot gaye, Sanjay bhaiya choot gaye” and “Sanjay tum sangharsh karo, hum tumhare sath hain”.

Reacting on the bail, Singh’s wife Anita Singh said the happiness is incomplete with three of her “brothers”, Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain, still behind bars. Describing Singh’s bail as the “victory of truth”, his wife said the AAP will celebrate when all its leaders are cleared in the case.

“Until all three of my brothers, Kejriwal, Sisodia and Satyendar Jain, come out of custody, this happiness is incomplete. This is the victory of truth. I had full faith in the judicial process,” Anita said while talking to reporters.

“This is not the right time to celebrate. When all my brothers are out, we will celebrate together,” she added.

Meanwhile, the BJP mocked the AAP for “celebrating” a regular bail to its leader Sanjay in the Delhi excise policy case as a clean chit to him and asked if by this “logic” it has accepted that jailed Kejriwal is the kingpin of the “scam”.

Addressing a Press conference, BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla said with the Supreme Court granting bail to Singh in the case, the AAP now has no right to claim that the action of central probe agencies against its leaders is “vendetta politics”. The AAP is “celebrating” Singh’s bail and projecting as if the apex court has given him a clean chit in the case, he said.

In a joint Press conference, AAP leaders claimed that the court order “exposed” that the entire liquor scam case was based on statements “extorted” from witnesses and approvers.

Singh was brought to a hospital on Tuesday morning and he is likely to be discharged on Wednesday, an official source said.  Singh was arrested by the ED in a money laundering case linked to the now-scrapped excise policy on October 4.

“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.  Atishi, also a Cabinet Minister in the Delhi Government, said for two years AAP leaders have been targeted in fake cases and arrested.

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