High Court Denies Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s plea Against ED Arrest

This poster shows Arvind Kejriwal's plea rejected by ED

The High Court said Tuesday afternoon that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will remain in jail. It denied CM’s challenge to his 21st March arrest in the alleged policy scam of liquor. 

Reacting swiftly to the High Court’s decision, Kejriwal’s party announced within an hour that it would be appealing to the Supreme Court, indicating their determination to challenge the ruling.

Sanjeev Nasiar, a prominent lawyer representing Kejriwal, stated, “Kejriwal has moved the Supreme Court today challenging yesterday’s Delhi High Court order in the case. He has filed an appeal before the SC,” providing a clear update on the legal actions taken by Kejriwal.

What Does Delhi High Court Said In Its Order?

In the judgement, the Delhi High Court observed, “Material collected by ED reveals that Kejriwal conspired and was involved in the formulation of excise policy and used proceeds of crime. He is also allegedly involved in a personal capacity in the formulation of policy and demanding kickbacks and secondly in the capacity of national convenor of AAP.”

After going through the records and hearing the parties, the HC judge came to a verdict. The ED was able to place sufficient material on record. The records include statements of approvers and the Aam Aadmi Party’s own candidate. They should show that Kejriwal was provided money for the Goa elections.

It further said that Section 70 PMLA, which sentences offences by companies, was also drawn in the case. This section states that when a company violates PMLA, every individual who was in charge of the company’s conduct of business at the time of the violation shall be considered guilty. 

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Alleged Delhi Liquor Policy Case:

The High Court rejected an appeal on Tuesday against the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the opposition leader in a graft case. This order also disappointed the opposition 10 days before the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.

Arvind Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 by the financial crime-fighting agency ED (Enforcement Directorate). It was done in relation to corruption assertions related to Delhi’s liquor policy. This sparked protests in the national capital. Also, the northern state of Punjab, which is governed by the AAP (Aam Aadmi Party).

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and two of his colleagues, including Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister. They have been arrested in connection with alleged kickbacks from Delhi’s liquor policy.

The ED considers the policy proposed an unbelievably high profit margin of approximately 185% for retailers and 12% for wholesalers. Of the latter, the AAP was to recover 6% as bribes, which amounted to over ₹ 600 crores. This was then allegedly utilised as poll costs.

The court extended Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s detention last week until April 15. They moved him to Delhi’s Tihar jail. Two senior AAP leaders are also locked up in the same case.

A third AAP leader was detained in the case. He was being imprisoned for 6 months and was provided bail this month. The Delhi High Court said on Tuesday that the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was not in violation of the law. They further said that it “cannot be termed as illegal.”

Kejriwal, 55, and the AAP have continuously denied all the allegations. They have also claimed a political conspiracy against the CM, who is a high-profile member of the Indian opposition bloc.

Reaction Of AAP and Other Party Leaders:

Aam Aadmi Party said earlier that it would make its appeal to the Supreme Court and reiterate its place. They further said that the high-profile leader was taken into custody in a “fabricated” case. It is an attempt by PM Narendra Modi’s government to “finish” the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. 

However, the Indian government and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have denied these accusations.

Saurabh Bharadwaj, AAP spokesperson, told reporters, “It is the biggest conspiracy of India’s history. To finish Arvind Kejriwal, his political party, and his two governments in Delhi and Punjab.”

The BJP expressed that the court’s decision was purely based on hard truths. It “destroyed the arrogance” of AAP and its “self-proclaimed honest” leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

India’s main opposition, the Indian National Congress, has also accused Modi’s government of “tax terrorism.” They further said that the tax department had sought to sabotage it financially through tax demands just prior to the general elections.

An alliance of 27 opposition parties known as “INDIA.” AAP is also a member who has supported Arvind Kejriwal since his arrest. It has attacked ED and several other federal agencies for what it says are their “politically inspired” investigations.

To Sum Up:

On April 9, the Delhi HC rejected Kejriwal’s plea against arrest in Delhi’s excise policy case. It said that the case was valid. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to the Supreme Court on April 10 against the Delhi High Court’s order rejecting his plea.

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