Kejriwal’s arrest: Onus on ED to substantiate allegations - The Tribune India

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Kejriwal’s arrest

Onus on ED to substantiate allegations

Kejriwal’s arrest

A day after the Supreme Court pulled up the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for making arrests at the pre-trial stage without even completing the investigation, the premier probe agency arrested Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in an excise policy-linked money laundering case on Thursday night. - File photo



A day after the Supreme Court pulled up the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for making arrests at the pre-trial stage without even completing the investigation, the premier probe agency arrested Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in an excise policy-linked money laundering case on Thursday night. With regard to a Jharkhand case, the court had observed that keeping an accused in custody without trial was akin to detention that hampered the liberty of an individual. However, it seems that this reprimand failed to deter the ED from taking coercive action against Kejriwal.

The ED has alleged that the CM was a key conspirator in the Delhi excise policy scam case along with other ministers and AAP leaders. According to the agency, Kejriwal received several crores of rupees as kickbacks from the ‘South Group’ while formulating and implementing the excise policy for 2021-22 and misused his position as the CM to facilitate money laundering by his party. The onus, of course, is on the ED to substantiate its allegations and establish the money trail. It’s no less important for the agency to complete the investigation in a time-bound manner. It has already been a year since Kejriwal’s former deputy Manish Sisodia was arrested in this case.

With the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections less than a month away, the arrest has given AAP and other Opposition parties ample fodder to accuse the BJP of misusing Central agencies to settle political scores. Earlier this week, the apex court had denied regular bail to senior AAP leader Satyendar Jain in a money laundering case, saying that there was sufficient material collected by the ED to show that he and his associates were prima facie guilty of the offence. With its credibility at stake, the all-important question is whether the ED — which has often come under fire for alleged overreach in Opposition-ruled states — has incontrovertible evidence to justify Kejriwal’s arrest and remand. 

#Arvind Kejriwal #Enforcement Directorate #Jharkhand #Supreme Court


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