Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal moves Supreme Court over arrest in liquor policy case

Delhi CM Kejriwal to challenge his arrest in liquor policy case before the Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on April 10th, 2024.

Delhi Chief Minister (CM) Arvind Kejriwal’s legal counsel will challenge his arrest in the liquor policy case by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) before the Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud around 10:30 am on April 10th, 2024.

The Aam Aadmi Party Leader’s plea challenging his arrest by the ED in the money laundering case related to the alleged liquor policy case was dismissed by the Delhi High Court on Tuesday, 9th April 2024, prompting this action.

Kejriwal’s arrest and remand were upheld by Justice Swarana Sharma holding that ED was able to provide enough evidence. The evidence consists of statements from approvers and AAP candidates stating that Kejriwal was given money for the Goa Elections. The material also suggests that Kejriwal conspired and was involved in the formulation of excise policy and used proceeds of crime.

Kejriwal argues the arrest and allegation to be “the biggest political conspiracy” to finish off the party, ahead of the General Elections 2024. He further asserts that he cannot be held remotely viable since AAP is not a company but a registered political party.

Kejriwal’s counsel had questioned the accuracy of the approver’s statements. However, the Court clarified the statements to be recorded by the Court itself and not the probe agency, quoting, “To cast aspersion on the manner of recording statements of approver would amount to casting aspersions on the judicial process. The law of approver is more than 100 years old. It is not a one year old law to suggest as if it was enacted to falsely implicate the petitioner.”

Kejriwal contented that the approvers Raghav Magunta, Sarath Reddy, and Magunta Reddy were forced by the ED to make the statements, and two of them had links with the ruling party. ED responded to this by quoting, “The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is the major beneficiary of the proceeds of crime generated in the Delhi Liquor Scam. Sh Arvind Kejriwal was and is not only the brain behind the AAP but also controls its major activities, he was also one of the founding members and was also involved in the decision-making of the policy as evident from the statements of the witnesses”.

On Kejriwal’s plea challenging the timing of arrest ahead of the General elections, the Court said, “Petitioner has been arrested in money laundering case and court has to examine his arrest and remand as per law irrespective of timing of elections.” It held that challenging timing of the arrest, in the absence of any mala fide on the part of ED, is not sustainable.

Arvind Kejriwal was arrested on the night of March 21. With prior remand of 10 days to ED custody on March 22 and April 1st, he was remanded until April 15. Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi represents Kejriwal in court.

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