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Arvind Kejriwal’s Challenge Against ED Arrest and Remand Heads to Supreme Court

Supreme Court to Hear Arvind Kejriwal’s Plea Against ED’s Arrest and Remand in Excise Policy Case

The Supreme Court is set to hear on April 15 (Monday) a plea filed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal challenging his arrest and subsequent remand by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) concerning the excise policy case. The case, titled Arvind Kejriwal vs Directorate of Enforcement, will be presented before a bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta.

Kejriwal approached the Supreme Court following the dismissal of his plea by the Delhi High Court. The decision was rendered by Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma, who asserted that there was substantial evidence indicating Kejriwal’s involvement in the alleged scam. The High Court also noted that funds obtained as kickbacks were purportedly utilized for political campaigning during the 2022 Goa legislative assembly elections.

The ED’s investigation into money laundering originates from a case initiated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on August 17, 2022, regarding purported irregularities in the Delhi Excise Policy for 2021-22. This case stemmed from a complaint filed by Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena on July 20, 2022. The allegations suggest a conspiracy involving AAP leaders, including former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, and other unidentified private individuals/entities during the policy formulation phase.

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The alleged conspiracy, according to reports, revolved around intentionally crafted loopholes in the policy to benefit certain licensees and collaborators after the tender process. Several AAP leaders, including former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Member of Parliament Sanjay Singh, have been apprehended by the ED in connection with the case.

Kejriwal was arrested by the ED on March 21 and subsequently presented before Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court, which initially remanded him to ED custody until March 28. His custody was later extended until April 1, after which he was placed under judicial custody until April 15. Despite his efforts to challenge the arrest and remand before the High Court, Kejriwal was denied relief.

In his plea before the High Court, Kejriwal argued that the Central government was misusing the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) – the basis for his arrest – to manipulate the playing field leading up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Kejriwal alleged that the Central government, which oversees the ED through the Ministry of Finance, was attempting to tilt the electoral process in favor of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

As of now, Kejriwal remains incarcerated in Tihar Jail.

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