In a recent development, the Supreme Court's division bench has responded to a plea filed by Sanjay Singh, an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Member of Parliament, challenging his arrest in connection with a money laundering case tied to the Delhi excise policy scam.
The plea contests the rejection of Singh's petition by the Delhi High Court, which had dismissed his appeal against the Enforcement Directorate's arrest. Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma, presiding over the bench, justified the dismissal by stating that the court sees no justification to intervene at an early stage when the investigation is yet to occur.
The present bench, consisting of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Bhatti, has issued a notice returnable in the week following December 11, 2023.
The High Court had reserved its order on Singh's plea on October 19. The Additional Solicitor General (ASG) opposed the plea, arguing that it essentially amounted to a bail application under Article 226 and was not maintainable since no fundamental rights had been infringed. The ASG further contended that Singh could tamper with evidence, citing the possession of images of Dinesh Arora's original statements seized during raids.
On October 13, Special Judge MK Nagpal of Rouse Avenue Court ordered Singh to 14 days of judicial custody. Singh is scheduled to appear before the court on October 27. Notably, on October 10, the judge had extended Singh's remand to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody until October 13, instructing him not to provide interviews to the media during this period.
Sanjay Singh was arrested on October 4 by the Enforcement Directorate following extensive searches at his residence. This arrest is the third significant one in the money laundering case. Raghav Magunta and businessman Dinesh Arora, both accused in the case, were granted permission to "turn approvers" by a Delhi Court. The ED's prosecution complaint implicated Singh based on a statement provided by Dinesh Arora.
In this ongoing case, Arora and Magunta had been previously arrested and are currently out on bail. Additionally, Vijay Nair, AAP's communication in-charge, was arrested in September 2022, and former Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia was arrested in February of the same year. The legal proceedings surrounding this case continue to unfold, with Singh's plea challenging his arrest now awaiting further consideration by the Supreme Court.
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