Explained: Why Sanjay Singh’s Bail Order Will Not Help Manish Sisodia And Kejriwal?

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In conclusion, instances like the concession order in Sanjay Singh's case underscore the challenges posed by "special laws" like the UAPA and the PMLA, which often tip the scales in favor of the state. Such concessions arguably amount to judicial evasion, undermining accountability and individual liberties in the legal system.

On April 2nd, the Supreme Court granted bail to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Sanjay Singh in the widely-known "liquor scam" case after he had spent approximately six months in jail. This decision on Sanjay Singh's bail has brought several crucial questions regarding the role and obligations of the Supreme Court as a legal entity into focus.

Let's delve into the specifics of Sanjay Singh's bail order:

During the morning session, Mr. S.V. Raju, the learned Additional Solicitor General representing the Directorate of Enforcement, was instructed to obtain guidance. Following lunch, the ASG representing the Directorate conveyed that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had no objection to Sanjay Singh being released on bail during the ongoing proceedings related to ECIR no. HIU-II/14/2022 filed under Sections 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

It's noteworthy that this concession from the Directorate was offered before any arguments were presented on their behalf. Solely on the basis of the ED's No Objection, the apex court of India allowed the appeal and directed Sanjay Singh's release on bail. However, the court explicitly stated that this concession should not set a precedent, and no comments were made on the merits of the case.

Sanjay Singh’s bail order passed by the Supreme Court of India raises three significant issues as follows:

Firstly, during the oral arguments, the court displayed skepticism regarding the case against Sanjay Singh. By actively seeking cooperation from the state to avoid ruling against it, the court deviated from its traditional role of adjudicating cases presented on their merits. In cases where an individual has already spent a significant time in jail, it's crucial for the court to hold state agencies accountable to legal standards and issue clear, enforceable judicial orders if their actions are found to violate fundamental rights of citizens.

Secondly, the concession granted to Sanjay Singh could have implications for other individuals involved in the "liquor scam" case. While each case is unique, there's a common thread of facts connecting them. However, due to the absence of a reasoned order, other accused individuals are deprived of leveraging Sanjay Singh's bail order for their own bail applications. This imbalance favors the state and undermines the rights of individuals.

Lastly, the court's statement that it is refraining from commenting on the merits of the case overlooks the inherent connection between bail and merits considerations, especially in cases governed by laws like the UAPA or the PMLA. The "twin test" for bail inherently involves merits considerations, yet the concession order deprives Sanjay Singh of the benefits of a reasoned bail order, further disadvantaging him in the legal process.

In conclusion, instances like the concession order in Sanjay Singh's case underscore the challenges posed by "special laws" like the UAPA and the PMLA, which often tip the scales in favor of the state. Such concessions arguably amount to judicial evasion, undermining accountability and individual liberties in the legal system.

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