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India

Delhi excise policy case: SC refuses interim relief to Arvind Kejriwal; issues notice to ED

Arvind Kejriwal

NEW DELHI, APRIL 15: No interim relief to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, as the Supreme Court refused to pass any order on Monday in his favour, on his plea challenging his arrest and remand in the Delhi Excise Policy scam case.
The apex Court, 2-Judge Bench, led by Justice Sanjiv Khanna and also comprising Justice Dipankar Datta, issued notice to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the Central probe agency that is investigating the case, and asked it to file its reply by April 24 on Kejriwal’s plea and fixed the matter for further hearing on the week commencing on April 29.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi, senior lawyer for Arvind Kejriwal, desperately sought some relief from the top Court by arguing that this petitioner (Kejriwal) is not named in the charge-sheet (in the Delhi Excise Policy scam). The object of arresting is incorrect.
Singhvi said the arrest of Kejriwal was made to stop him from campaigning in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
While refusing to pass any order, in favour of Kejriwal, the Bench in its order said, “Issue notice; returnable on April 24. Notice is accepted by the respondent (ED) who are presented in Court on caveat. Reply to be filed on or before April 24 and rejoinder (by Kejriwal) on or before April 27. Post in week commencing from April 29.”
A day after his plea was rejected by the Delhi High Court on April 9, Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal on April 10 had knocked the doors of the Supreme Court against the dismissal of plea of his arrest and remand in Delhi liquor scam. He also vehemently pleaded to the Supreme Court for listing his appeal as soon as possible. Kejriwal was arrested on the night of March 21.
On March 22, a trial court remanded him to 6 days of ED custody, which was extended by further 4 days. On April 01, he was remanded to judicial custody till April 15, i.e. today.
Kejriwal, who is currently in judicial custody, also challenged his subsequent remand, apart from his arrest, by the ED in the case.
The accused, Kejriwal claimed innocence in the excise policy scam case and had told the HC on Wednesday, during the hearing that the timing of his arrest right after the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is to humiliate, insult and disable him and his political party.
The Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju, senior lawyer for the ED, said that there are sufficient evidences against him and he is the main criminal conspirator in the Delhi liquor scam.
The Delhi HC, in its order had said, “The arrest of Arvind Kejriwal was not in contravention of the legal provisions. The remand can’t be held to be illegal.”
“The material collected by the ED reveals that Kejriwal conspired and was involved in formulation of excise policy and used proceeds of crime. He is also allegedly involved in personal capacity in formulation of policy and demanding kickbacks and secondly in the capacity of national convenor of AAP”, the Judge had said in her order.
She went on to say in her order that the rigours of Section 70 PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) are attracted in this case. Section 70 penalises offences by companies. When a company contravenes the PMLA, every person who at the time the contravention was in charge of conduct of business of the company will be deemed to be guilty, the Court said in its order.
(Courtesy: TNIE)

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