AAP MP Sanjay Singh Gets Bail After 6 Months In Jail In Liquor Policy Case

Sanjay Singh is a two-time Rajya Sabha MP for the Aam Aadmi Party.

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh, even as it posed some searching questions to the Enforcement Directorate – which arrested Mr Singh – including asking why he had been jailed for over six months without a trial or recovery of alleged bribe of Rs 2 crore.

“Nothing has been recovered… there is no trace (of the Rs 100 crore the AAP allegedly received as bribes for allotting liquor licences to the ‘South Group’)…” the top court noted to the ED .

Mr Singh was released after the ED said it did not want further custody of the AAP leader. The agency told the court it would concede bail to Mr Singh “without going into the merits” of his argument.

The Supreme Court also observed that Dinesh Arora, one of the accused who later turned approver, or government witness, had not actually implicated Mr Singh in his initial statements.

Mr Arora was released on bail in August last year after turning approver.

Sanjay Singh has been in Delhi’s Tihar Jail since his arrest October last year in the alleged liquor excise 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 a general election.

Mr Singh was arrested on money laundering charges linked to the alleged scam. 

The AAP leader has seen earlier bail pleas – including in the Delhi High Court – turned down; in February, in fact, the High Court said “no ground” for relief had been made.

READ | AAP’s Sanjay Singh’s Bail Plea Rejected In Money Laundering Case

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.

He has, however, been cautioned against commenting on the ED’s investigation.

The court also said bail to Mr Singh could not be treated as precedent in similar cases.

READ | “Court Asked About Money, Probe Agency Had No Answer”: AAP

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.

READ | Atishi Claims BJP Switch Offer, Says These AAP Leaders To Be Arrested Soon

This morning she claimed four other senior 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 Bharatiya Janata Party. The opposition has routinely accused the BJP of using central agencies to target rivals, particularly before an election. The BJP has equally routinely denied these charges.

NDTV Explains | Why Enforcement Directorate Arrested Arvind Kejriwal

What Is Alleged Delhi Liquor Policy Scam?

The Enforcement Directorate believes the now-scrapped liquor policy provided an impossibly high profit margin of 185 per cent for retailers and 12 per cent for wholesellers. Of the latter, six per cent – over Rs 600 crore – were bribes and the money was allegedly used to fund the AAP’s poll campaigns.

READ | Kejriwal Lodged In 14×8 Feet Cell. See What All Court Has Allowed

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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