Excise ‘scam’: Supreme Court to take up on Monday Kejriwal’s petition against Delhi HC verdict upholding his arrest by ED : The Tribune India

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Excise ‘scam’: Supreme Court to take up on Monday Kejriwal’s petition against Delhi HC verdict upholding his arrest by ED

CM Arvind Kejriwal’s petition is listed before a Bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Dipankar Datta for hearing

Excise ‘scam’: Supreme Court to take up on Monday Kejriwal’s petition against Delhi HC verdict upholding his arrest by ED

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. PTI file



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, April 13

The Supreme Court will on Monday take up Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s petition challenging the Delhi High Court’s verdict upholding his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in a money-laundering case linked to Delhi excise policy scam.

Kejriwal’s petition is listed before a Bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Dipankar Datta for hearing on April 15.

A day after the Delhi High Court dismissed his petition against his arrest by the ED, Kejriwal had on April 10 moved the Supreme Court challenging the high court’s verdict.

A Bench led by CJI DY Chandrachud had agreed to consider Kejriwal’s request for urgent hearing on his petition after senior counsel AM Singhvi on April 10 mentioned his petition for immediate listing. Singhvi had said the high court’s order was based on certain material that was suppressed from the petitioner.

The ED had arrested Kejriwal on March 21 after the Delhi High Court refused to grant him protection from coercive action by the probe agency in the money laundering case.

On April 1, a Delhi Special Court sent Kejriwal to 14-day judicial custody till April 15 on the expiry of his ED custody.

The ED alleged that Kejriwal was the kingpin and the key conspirator of the excise scam and there were reasons to believe on the basis of material in its possession that the AAP leader was guilty of the offence of money laundering.

Spelling further trouble for beleaguered Delhi Chief Minister, Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma of the Delhi High Court had on April 9 dismissed his petition challenging his arrest by the ED, saying there was no violation of law or the Supreme Court’s verdicts.

Justice Sharma held that Kejriwal’s arrest by the ED and his subsequent remand in Enforcement Directorate’s custody and later in judicial custody can’t be held to be illegal as the probe agency was in possession of “enough material” that led to his arrest, and the trial court remanded him in the custody of the agency by a well-reasoned order.

“Material collected by the ED reveals that Kejriwal conspired and was involved in formulation of the excise policy and used the proceeds of the crime. He is also allegedly involved in his personal capacity in formulation of the policy and demanding kickbacks in the capacity of national convenor of AAP,” the HC had said.

It said there was evidence to show that the proceeds of crime were used for political campaigning in the 2022 Goa legislative assembly elections.

Rejecting his allegation of political vendetta on the eve of Lok Sabha elections, Justice Sharma said “Courts are concerned with constitutional morality and not political morality.” The court had to apply the law as it existed, she added.

“This Court is of the opinion that the accused has been arrested and his arrest and remand has to be examined as per law and not as per timing of elections… Political considerations cannot be brought before the court as they are not relevant...The Court must remain vigilant that it is not influenced by any extraneous factors,” the HC said.

It said Kejriwal’s challenge against his arrest was not sustainable in the absence of any mala fide on part of ED.

“In the case at hand, it is important to clarify that the matter before this court is not a conflict between the central government and petitioner Kejriwal. Instead, it is a case between Kejriwal and the Directorate of Enforcement,” it said.

The court also relied on the statements of witnesses and approvers to uphold his arrest and the remand to be “legal”.

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#Arvind Kejriwal #Enforcement Directorate #Supreme Court


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