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Court Reserves Order On ED Plea Seeking 10 Day Custody Of Kejriwal, Probe Agency Alleges Delhi CM Is Liquor Scam Kingpin

05:54 PM Mar 22, 2024 IST | NEWS Desk
court reserves order on ed plea seeking 10 day custody of kejriwal  probe agency alleges delhi cm is liquor scam kingpin
Court Reserves Order On ED Plea Seeking 10 Day Custody Of Kejriwal, Probe Agency Alleges Delhi CM Is Liquor Scam Kingpin

New Delhi [India]: The Rouse Avenue Court on Friday reserved its order on pleas by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking 10-day-custody of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The ED arrested him a day before in connection with the alleged Delhi liquor scam case and produced him before the court of Special Judge Kaveri Baweja.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared for the Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convenor while Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju and Special Counsel Zoheb Hossain appeared for the central probe agency.

In its arguments before the court, the ED alleged that the Chief Minister of Delhi is the key conspirator and kingpin in demanding kickbacks from businessmen. The agency further claimed that Kejriwal was directly involved in the formation of the now scrapped Excise policy.

The ED counsel claimed that Vijay Nair, who was the media in charge of AAP, was working for Delhi CM Kejriwal. Nair, who the agency said lives adjacent to the residence of Kejriwal and acted as a middleman between the AAP and the 'South Group'.

The ED counsel further claimed that the proceeds of crime is not only Rs 100 crore but profits made by bribe givers were also proceeds of crime. The counsel said that agency had traced hawala trails of Rs 45 crore that was used in Goa Elections.

ASG SV Raju said that AAP is a beneficiary, which exists as a company. Every person responsible for the conduct of the company is responsible. Apart from being liable as an individual, the CM is also vicariously liable.

The ASG said that Kejriwal's role via the AAP is important in addition to his personal role in the alleged scam. The counsel further said that Kejriwal was not cooperative during the search.

ED further alleged that Kejriwal is responsible for all AAP affairs. He is the national convenor of the party. The kickbacks came in cash were used in Goa assembly elections. The excise policy is a scam, it was only made to fund the Goa elections the counsel said.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for Kejriwal opposed the remand plea and submitted that the agency needs to show the necessity to arrest. Singhvi argued that the power of arrest and the necessity of arrest are two different things.

Singhvi said that in the history of 75 years of independence this is the first time a sitting chief minister is arrested, the first time four leaders of his party are arrested. Singhvi further said it's like having the result before the first vote is cast.

Singhvi said that 80 per cent of the people have not mentioned Kejriwal or any dealings with him. Any remanding court is not an automatic rubber stamp, Singhvi argued.

Singhvi contended that according to ED Kejriwal had been arrested for non-cooperation, but all necessary documents are already in possession of the agency and summoning him 'in person' was a ploy to illegally arrest him and the present matter is a clear case of malice.

Kejriwal's counsel further said that without dealing with various discrepancies and legal lacunae pointed by him, ED issued back to back cyclostyled summons under Section 50 PMLA directing him to appear.

Singhvi further stated that there is no direct evidence. Without there being any material in possession of the Enforcement Directorate on the basis of which Kejriwal can be believed to be guilty of an offence, he is being illegally and arbitrarily arrested by ED.

Singhvi while concluding his arguments, requested the Special Judge not to look at the remand as a routine, it requires application of significant judicial mind as there are larger issues of democracy involved.

Senior Advocate Vikram Chaudhari appearing for Kejriwal submitted that the administration of criminal justice system was at stake and that on Thursday the matter was before the High Court, which said no interim orders were called for at this stage but within hours the Delhi Chief Minister was arrested.

Earlier, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had produced Kejriwal before Rouse Avenue Court under tight security.

While entering the court complex Kejriwal told reporters, "My life is dedicated to the country whether I am inside or outside the prison."

Kejriwal was arrested by the ED in the excise policy case on Thursday after the Delhi High Court refused interim protection to him from coercive action in connection with the excise policy case.

The case pertains to alleged irregularities and money laundering in framing and implementing the Delhi excise policy case 2022, which was later scrapped.

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