BREAKING| [Excise Policy Case] Delhi High Court dismisses AAP MP Sanjay Singh's plea against arrest and remand

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Singh had moved the high court challenging his arrest and remand by the ED in a case related to the excise policy scam. He was arrested on October 4 by the ED

The Delhi High Court on Friday "dismissed" Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh's plea challenging his arrest and ED remand in a money laundering case related to the Delhi excise policy scam.

The bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma said, "At a premature stage, where investigation is yet to take place, this court doesn't find any ground to interfere with the order of remand or arrest".

The judge said, "The issue before the court is whether the arrest of the petitioner is illegal and arbitrary and whether the arrest order and consequent orders of remand are in violation of the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Pankaj Bansal". 

"This court holds the responsibility of not only weighing the rights of the accused but also the interest of the state. While investigating a case, the state acts as a guardian of the citizen, seeking to ensure their safety and well-being", the judge said.

Justice Sharma said that as in the case of a public figure or any individual citizen, a bar has to be raised. "The judicial commitment to assure human dignity, however, cannot extend to the quashing investigation process at its early stage," he added. 

"In this case, the prima facie material on record is not only because the petitioner is a public figure, and the pendency of criminal proceedings will adversely affect the political future. Liberty and dignity cannot succeed in a way competing in state interests and the right to investigate a crime", the court said. 

"Though a person has a right to protect his individual public image and reputational aspect of human dignity, upholding that right cannot come in the way of curtailing the right of the state to investigate any crime or any person", it added.

On the contention that the confession of the approver (Dinesh Arora) was under pressure and false in view of framing the present accused (Sanjay Singh), Justice Sharma said, "The statement was recorded with due process and the provisions of the law. The determination as to whether the confession was extracted under pressure and without a procedural framework or abuse of power cannot be considered at this stage".

Furthermore, on the contention that this is a politically motivated case of "malice" and the investigating agency (ED) is under the control of a particular political party, Justice Sharma said, "This court cannot and will not be part of either of the said discussion or the said adjudication unless the matter is in issue along with the material is placed before it for adjudication. The courts of this country have been best left untouched by such influences".

Notably, on October 19, the court had reserved order in Singh's plea.

Opposing the plea, the ASG had contended, "Essentially, he has moved a bail application under the guise of Article 226. This petition is not maintainable. No fundamental rights have been infringed".

"He is capable of tampering with evidence. Sanjay Singh had images of Dinesh Arora's original statements, which are actually in the ED office. The 3-page document was seized during the raids, and it was mentioned in the arrest memo. Money laundering is an independent offence, the process or activity can be in any form. It is clear that it is not necessary that you not be accused in the main predicate offence", he had argued.

Proceedings before Trial Court

On October 13, Special Judge MK Nagpal of Rouse Avenue Court remanded the AAP leader to 14 days Judicial custody. He will be produced before the court on October 27. Notably, on October 10, the judge extended the remand of Singh to Directorate of Enforcement (ED) custody further until October 13.

On October 10, the trial court had directed Singh not to give an interview to the media while being produced and also asked the press not to ask him questions. The judge had said, "Talking to the media while appearing in court creates a security problem".


Singh was arrested on October 4 by the ED in the money laundering case. According to reports, Singh was taken into custody after day-long searches on his residence. This is the third high-profile arrest in the case. 

The AAP MP was arrested a day later, and a Delhi Court allowed Raghav Magunta, son of YSR Congress MP Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, and businessman Dinesh Arora, both accused in the case, to "turn approvers".

In the prosecution complaint filed by the ED, Sanjay Singh's name appeared in a statement by Arora. 

Arora and Magunta were arrested by the agency earlier this year and are out on bail. Besides the two, businessman and AAP's communication in-charge Vijay Nair was also arrested in September 2022, and former Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia was arrested in February this year.

Case Title: Sanjay Singh v. Union of India & Anr.