Liquor Policy Case: Delhi HC reserves verdict on Arvind Kejriwal’s plea challenging ED arrest

- April 3, 2024
| By : Patriot Bureau |

Kejriwal, who was arrested by ED on March 21, is currently in judicial custody in Tihar jail. On March 22, the trial court remanded him to six days of ED custody, which was extended by further four days. On April 01, he was remanded to judicial custody till April 15

Arvind Kejriwal

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on the plea filed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the money laundering case related to the alleged liquor policy scam.

Kejriwal is currently in judicial custody, having been arrested on the night of March 21. The trial court initially remanded him to six days of ED custody, which was extended by an additional four days. On April 1, he was remanded to judicial custody until April 15.

Justice Sharma had previously denied any interim relief to Kejriwal and issued notice on his plea challenging the arrest, as well as his interim application seeking immediate release.

In response to the petition, the ED has asserted that Kejriwal is the key figure and central conspirator in the excise scam. The agency alleges that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was the major beneficiary of the proceeds of the crime, and that Kejriwal played a pivotal role in the decision-making process.

Additional Solicitor General SV Raju informed the Court that the investigation concerning the sitting CM is still at an early stage. He highlighted that Kejriwal had not challenged the latest order remanding him to 15 days of judicial custody.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Kejriwal, argued that the central probe agency failed to comply with Section 50 of the PMLA, which empowers it to issue summons and gather evidence.

Singhvi further contended that the ED coerced the approvers into making statements against Kejriwal, even alleging links between them and the ruling party.

The ASG countered Singhvi’s arguments, emphasising the evidence of money laundering and the alleged involvement of AAP in the scam.

Kejriwal’s party colleagues Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh are also accused in the case and are currently in judicial custody.

Kejriwal had previously moved an urgent petition before the Supreme Court challenging his arrest, which was later withdrawn. He has also challenged the summons issued to him by the central probe agency before the Delhi High Court.

The ED maintains that Kejriwal is the “kingpin” of the Delhi excise scam and directly involved in the misuse of proceeds of crime amounting to over £10 million. The agency alleges that the excise policy was part of a conspiracy to benefit certain private companies, coordinated by individuals including Vijay Nair, acting on behalf of Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia. (With inputs from PTI)