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Excise PMLA Case: Delhi HC To Hear Arvind Kejriwal's Plea Challenging Arrest, ED Remand Tomorrow

04:46 PM Mar 26, 2024 IST | NEWS Desk
excise pmla case  delhi hc to hear arvind kejriwal s plea challenging arrest  ed remand tomorrow
Excise PMLA Case: Delhi HC To Hear Arvind Kejriwal's Plea Challenging Arrest, ED Remand Tomorrow

New Delhi [India]: The Delhi High Court has listed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's plea on Wednesday challenging his arrest and the order of remand passed by the trial court on March 22.

Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 by the Enforcement Directorate in relation to the excise policy case.

The bench of Justice Swarna Kanta Sharma will hear the matter on Wednesday at the at the top of the board and state the cause list of the Delhi High Court.

According to the legal team of Kejriwal, both the arrest and the remand order are illegal and he is entitled to be released from custody.

The plea stated that without there being any material in possession of the Enforcement Directorate on the basis of which the petitioner (Arvind Kejriwal), can be believed to be guilty of an offence, the petitioner is being illegally and arbitrarily arrested by ED in the evening of March 21.

The plea further stated that the provisions of PMLA are being used to persecute and destroy the very basic fabric of the democratic and federal structures of this country.

"The attempt is to decimate a political party and topple an elected government of NCT of Delhi," the plea stated.

The trial court on March 22, sent Arvind Kejriwal to ED remand till March 28. ED alleged that the Aam Adami Party (AAP) is the major beneficiary of the proceeds of crime generated in the alleged liquor scam.

Senior Advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Vikram Chaudhari, and Ramesh Gupta, along with Advocates Rajat Bharadwaj, Mudit Jain and Mohd Irshad, appeared for the Delhi CM Kejriwal in trial court. ASG SV Raju and Special Counsel Zoheb Hossain appeared for the probe agency.

"Part of the proceeds of crime to the tune of cash of Rs 45 crore approx. has been utilised in the election campaign of AAP in Goa Assembly elections 2022," the ED alleged.

The agency further claimed that Kejriwal was directly involved in the formation of the excise policy.

"Arvind Kejriwal has also been intrinsically involved in the entire conspiracy of the Delhi liquor scam, wherein the policy was drafted and implemented in a manner wherein certain private persons were favoured and benefitted in a quid pro quo of receiving kickbacks," the central agency said in its remand.

It also claimed that due to the actions of Arvind Kejriwal involving excise policy formulation, hatching the conspiracy of kickbacks with the South Group members, and eventually using part of the proceeds of crime generated out of this scheduled offence in the election campaign of the AAP for the Goa Assembly elections, it is clear that all these activities were not only done with his knowledge but also his active collusion.

Kejriwal was arrested by the central agency late Thursday night on charges of corruption in relation to the case. It is the first time in independent India that a serving Chief Minister has been arrested.

The move came after Kejriwal skipped multiple summons by the investigation agency, nine in total, calling them "illegal".

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

While Kejriwal was not named in the FIRs registered by the ED or the Central Bureau of Investigation in the Delhi excise policy case, his name first found a mention in the ED's chargesheet, wherein the agency claimed that he allegedly spoke to one of the main accused, Sameer Mahendru, in a video call and asked him to continue working with co-accused and AAP communications-in-charge Vijay Nair.

Nair was among the first people to be arrested by the CBI in the case, in 2022. Subsequently, former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh were arrested in connection with the case.

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