The Enforcement Directorate is acting with bias against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the liquor policy case, a Delhi court said on Thursday in its order that granted bail to the Aam Aadmi Party leader, Bar and Bench reported.

Vacation Judge Nyay Bindu of the Rouse Avenue Courts granted bail to Kejriwal on Thursday. A day later, however, the Delhi High Court halted the bail order as it allowed an urgent hearing of a petition by the Enforcement Directorate.

In its bail order, the trial court had said that the Enforcement Directorate was unable to submit direct evidence that linked Kejriwal to the proceeds of the alleged crime, Live Law reported.

Earlier, the central law enforcement agency had told the court that an “investigation is an art and sometimes one accused is given [a] lollypop of bail and pardon and induced with some assurance to make them tell the story behind the offence”, according to Live Law.

The remarks were made in connection with an argument on the credibility of the approvers in the case.

The bail order, uploaded on Friday, said that the court had “to take a pause to consider this argument…because if it is so, then, any person can be implicated and kept behind the bars by artistically procuring the material against him after artistically avoiding/withdrawing exculpatory material from the record”.

It added: “This very scenario constrains the court to draw an inference against the investigating agency that it is not acting without bias.”

The bail order said that the Enforcement Directorate was silent on certain issues raised by Kejriwal, including that of not naming him in the original first information report filed by the agency, reported Live Law.

“It is also an admitted fact that the accused has not been summoned by the court till date, yet he is lying in judicial custody at the instance of ED [Enforcement Directorate] on the pretext of investigation being still going on,” Bar and Bench quoted the order as saying.

The central agency failed to show that another accused in the case, businessman Vijay Nair, who is currently in jail, was acting at the behest of Kejriwal, the court said.

According to Live Law, the judge said: “If an accused has underwent the atrocities of the system till his innocence is realised, then he could never be able to conceive that ‘justice’ has actually been done in his favour.”

After the order was pronounced, the Enforcement Directorate requested the court to give it 48 hours to sign the bail bond and challenge the bail before the appellate court. Judge Bindu, however, refused to stay the order.

The Enforcement Directorate then moved the Delhi High Court on Friday to challenge the bail.

Kejriwal was arrested by the central law enforcement agency on March 21. The Enforcement Directorate is investigating allegations of money laundering in the liquor policy case based on a first information report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The Aam Aadmi Party chief had surrendered at the Tihar jail on June 2 after his 21-day interim bail period ended. The Supreme Court had granted the Opposition leader bail on May 10 in the liquor policy case to allow him to campaign for the Lok Sabha elections.

The two central agencies have alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party government modified Delhi’s now-scrapped liquor policy by increasing the commission for wholesalers from 5% to 12%. This allegedly facilitated the receipt of bribes from wholesalers who had a substantial market share and turnover.