Published On: Wed, Apr 3rd, 2024

ED in Delhi HC on Kejriwal’s arrest: ‘Money trail found’; Court reserves order

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court reserved its order on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s plea challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and remand in the liquor policy case. While Kejriwal claimed that his arrest was aimed at “demolishing his party” before the Lok Sabha election, the ED said “someone who loots the country” cannot claim immunity citing polls.

ED also referred to Kejriwal’s submission in Delhi’s Rouse Avenue court

Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the ED, said Kejriwal’s petition challenging his arrest by the probe agency should be rejected. The ED told the court that it wanted to attach some properties of the AAP in the Delhi liquor policy case but was in a dilemma.

“We want to attach some properties of AAP. If we do that, then they will say what is all this at the time of elections?. If we don’t do it, then they will say where is the proof? We are in a catch 22 situation,” the ED said.

The ED further said that the investigation over Kejriwal’s role in the liquor policy case was at a nascent stage even as it claimed that it had located the money trail.

“Aam aadmi has to go behind bars if he has committed a crime, but because you are a Chief Minister you can’t be arrested? You will loot the country but no one can touch you because the elections are coming?” the ASG asked.

“The money trail is there. We have located the money trail. The money may have been used and that is why it can’t be found,” ASG Raju further said.

Responding to Kejriwal’s argument that the arrest was politically motivated, the ASG further said, “Take the case of a terrorist who is also a politician. He blows up an Army vehicle and says, I want to contest elections, so you can’t touch me? What kind of argument is this?”

The Delhi CM was arrested by the ED on March 21 and was initially sent to the custody of the probe agency for six days. The ED custody was later extended by four more days. On April 1, Kejriwal was remanded to judicial custody till April 15 and is presently lodged at Tihar Jail.

The ED also referred to Kejriwal’s submission in Delhi’s Rouse Avenue court where the AAP chief said the probe agency could keep him in custody for as many days as it wants.

“I am not opposing the remand petition of the ED. But this is a scam,” the Delhi CM said during his remand hearing on March 28.

Citing the statement of Kejriwal, ASG Raju told the Delhi HC that one cannot ride two horses at the same time.

“He (Kejriwal) has said he had no objection to remand. If he had no objection, then what is the submission now? They are blowing hot and cold at the same time. It is a clear case of acquiscence and waiver,” the ASG said.

Earlier in the day, Kejriwal told the court that his arrest was aimed at “demolishing his party” before the Lok Sabha elections. Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Kejriwal, said the timing of Kejriwal’s arrest was questionable, underlining that the Model Code of Conduct was in force.

“ED says because the accused said he is not opposing custody, his petition is infructuous. This is unheard of. I had argued that case one week ago. So, the accused is supposed to have given up?” Singhvi said.

Singhvi also objected to the terrorist comparison drawn by the ASG. “He came with bizarre examples of terrorists blowing up Army vehicle. This is nothing but a bizarre example,” he said.

Singhvi further said there was no evidence against Kejriwal of his involvement in money laundering. “It is preposterous to say that Chief Minister of Delhi will be handling hawala transactions,” he said.

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