Published On: Tue, Apr 30th, 2024

Supreme Court poses five questions to ED on Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Enforcement Directorate to respond to the questions related to the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, including the timing of it just before the general elections.

ED has been asked to respond on May 3

A bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta was hearing Arvind Kejriwal’s plea challenging his arrest and remand by the Enforcement Directorate in the Delhi liquor policy case.

Justice Sanjiv Khanna said, “Liberty is exceedingly important, you can’t deny that. The last question is concerning the timing of the arrest, which they have pointed out, just before the general elections.”

The top court also asked the probe agency to respond and explain the time gap which is taking place between the initiation of proceedings and repeated complaints being filed after some time.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Arvind Kejriwal, told the court that there was no trace of proceeds of crime and lack of proof of the Aam Aadmi Party chief’s direct involvement in the case.

On this, the court asked, “Without there being an adjudicatory proceeding, can you have criminal proceedings initiated? There are no proceedings of attachment in this case so far, and if there are, then show how Kejriwal is involved.”

The court also said that in AAP leader Manish Sisodia’s case, there are findings in favour and against him. “Tell us where does the Kejriwal case lie then?” the court asked.

“Threshold under Section 19 of PMLA, which casts onus on prosecution and not on accused, is fairly high, whereas under Section 45, onus shifts on accused. So how do we interpret it? Do we make the threshold much higher and ensure that standard is same?” it added.

The ED has been asked to respond on May 3, Friday, when the next hearing takes place.

Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case linked to the now-scrapped Delhi liquor policy. He has been lodged in Tihar Jail since April 1 and will remain in judicial custody till May 7.

On April 9, the Delhi High Court ruled it had found nothing illegal about the Chief Minister’s arrest.

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