New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has appealed to the Supreme Court after the Delhi High Court issued an interim stay on a trial court’s decision to grant him bail in a money-laundering case related to an alleged excise scam.

The Delhi High Court halted Kejriwal’s release on Friday following the trial court’s bail order on June 20. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader, arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21, would have been released from Tihar Jail on Friday if not for the high court’s interim stay.

A vacation bench of the high court stated, “Till the pronouncement of this order, the operation of the impugned order shall remain stayed,” instructing the parties to submit written arguments by June 24. The high court reserved its decision for two to three days to review the case records thoroughly.

Additionally, the high court issued a notice to Kejriwal, seeking his response to the ED’s plea challenging the trial court’s bail order. The hearing on this plea is scheduled for July 10.

The trial court, in its bail order, noted that Kejriwal’s guilt had not been conclusively established, and the ED had not presented direct evidence linking him to the alleged proceeds of crime in the money-laundering case.

The excise policy under scrutiny was annulled in 2022 following a CBI investigation ordered by the lieutenant governor due to suspected irregularities and corruption in its formulation and execution. Both the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) allege that modifications to the policy resulted in irregularities and undue benefits for license holders.