Excise Policy case: Vijay Nair moves Delhi HC with default bail plea

DN Bureau

Aam Aadmi Party's former communication head, Vijay Nair has on Monday moved a default bail petition in the Delhi High Court in a money laundering case related to alleged irregularities in the now scrapped Excise Policy case. Read further on Dynamite News:

Representation image
Representation image

New Delhi:  Aam Aadmi Party's former communication head, Vijay Nair has on Monday moved a default bail petition in the Delhi High Court in a money laundering case related to alleged irregularities in the now scrapped Excise Policy case.

Earlier, the High Court had denied him regular bail in the matter.Nair is the former Media and Communication In-charge of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the former CEO of the entertainment and event management firm Only Much Louder.

The right to default bail is available to accused persons in cases when the investigating agency fails to complete its investigation within the stipulated time. Recently, a Supreme Court judgment regarding default bail has sparked debate.

Senior advocate Rebecca John appeared in the trial court for Vijay Nair and stated that the supplementary prosecution complaint has been filed by the ED within the prescribed period of 60 days, but the same has been filed without actual completion of investigation qua him and hence, the said supplementary complaint can only be termed as a piecemeal and incomplete complaint or chargesheet, which has been filed by the investigating agency just to defeat the right of the applicant to be released on default bail in terms of provisions contained under section 167(2) Criminal Procedure Code.Nair's lawyer also argued that the right to get default bail is a statutory right conferred upon an accused in terms of the above provisions and the same cannot be permitted to be defeated or scuttled by the investigating agency in the manner, in which it has been done in the present case.

It was also argued that if the investigating agencies are permitted to file piecemeal or incomplete chargesheets or prosecution complaints to defeat the right to statutory bail accruing to an accused under the above provisions, then the very fabric of criminal jurisprudence will be destroyed as Section 173 of the CrPC imposes a duty upon the investigating agencies to file the chargesheets or prosecution complaints against the accused only when investigation in a case is complete in all respects. The ED while opposing the default bail plea raised the maintainability ground and stated that the accused had already raised the ground of piecemeal or incomplete chargesheet before the High Court in his bail plea.

Recently, a trial court denied Nair's default bail in the matter and said, that in view of factual and legal discussion, it is held that this court is not competent or the appropriate forum to consider the ground for default bail of the accused and the appropriate course available to the accused is to approach the same judge or bench of the High Court with a request for consideration of the said point or ground and for passing of a specific order on the basis of pleadings contained in the said request application or submissions as may be made while pressing the said point or ground during the course of hearing of such application to be filed by the accused.

With the above observations and findings, the present application filed by the accused Vijay Nair is being dismissed as not maintainable before this court, said the court.

Earlier in his bail plea, Nair stated that he was only the media and communications in charge of the AAP and was not involved in the drafting, framing or implementation of the excise policy in any manner and that he was being “victimised” for his political affiliation.Nair stated that the allegations against him are wrong, false and baseless.He asserted that his arrest by Enforcement Directorate on November 13 last year was completely illegal and “appears to be motivated by extraneous considerations” given that the special court was expected to pronounce orders on his bail plea in the corruption case being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation
Earlier, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), in its chargesheet against Delhi’s former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia claimed that Sisodia supported Vijay Nair's criminal activities.

ED earlier told the court that Vijay Nair, on behalf of leaders of AAP, has at least received kickbacks to the tune of Rs 100 crore from a group, called south group.
The ED and the CBI had alleged that irregularities were committed while modifying the excise policy, undue favours were extended to licence holders, the licence fee was waived or reduced and the L-1 licence was extended without the competent authority's approval.

The L-1 licence is granted to a business entity having wholesale distribution experience in the liquor trade in any state for at least five years. (ANI)

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