Kejriwal arrest: SC grants no relief for Delhi CM, issues notice to ED

Delhi CM claims he was arrested to stop him from campaigning for Lok Sabha polls

Arvind Kejriwal arrest (File) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at the Rouse Avenue court in Delhi | PTI

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Enforcement Directorate on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s plea challenging his arrest. The apex court however did not grant any relief for the Aam Aadmi Party leader.

A bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta heard Kejriwal’s petition challenging his arrest in a money laundering case registered in connection with alleged liquor policy scam. The bench sought ED’s response to Kejriwal’s plea challenging the Delhi High Court’s order which upheld his arrest. 

Kejriwal argued that he was arrested by the ED to stop him from campaigning for Lok Sabha polls. Kejriwal’s counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi said there are only statements against the Delhi chief minister and he has not been named in ECIR or chargesheet. The bench directed the central agency to respond to the notice by the last week of April.

The High Court had upheld Kejriwal's arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money-laundering case stemming from the alleged excise policy scam. The court observed that the ED had "little option" after he skipped repeated summonses and refused to join the investigation.

The order was passed by Justice Swarana Kanta Sharmawho said that there was evidence to show Kejriwal's involvement in the alleged scam and that the money received as kickbacks was used for political campaigning in the 2022 Goa legislative assembly elections. 

Kejriwal was arrested by the ED on March 21, hours after the high court refused to grant him protection from coercive action by the federal anti-money laundering agency. He is in judicial custody till April 15 and is currently lodged in Tihar Jail.  

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