Kejriwal arrest: SC questions ED over delay in probe, asks agency to produce case file

Apex court asks whether CM would visit office if granted bail

Arvind Kejriwal (File) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal arrives to appear before the Rouse Avenue Court in Delhi | PTI

The Supreme Court on Tuesday questioned the Enforcement Directorate over the delay in the probe against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the money laundering case registered in the connection with scrapped Delhi liquor policy. The Court asked the agency to produce three volumes of case file to check the investigating officer’s notes in the case.

Hearing Kejriwal’s plea challenging his arrest, a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta was given a note by Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju, appearing for the ED, in which he contradicted the submission of Kejriwal that the statements of approvers were suppressed by the probe agency.

Hearing Kejriwal’s interim bail plea, the bench said they are considering interim bail plea since it is elections, however, it made it clear they do not want the chief minister to visit office or perform official duties. The bench said they don’t want Kejriwal’s interference in government’s functioning. However, advocate Abhishek Singhvi appearing for Kejriwal said the CM would not sign on any files, with the condition that the Delhi Lieutenant Governor will not stop any work on the ground that the CM has not signed any file, Live Law reported. 

The bench asked ED to produce three volumes of case file—One before Sarath Reddy’s arrest till his statement under section 164 CrPC, the second one before Manish Sisodia’s arrest and after he was arrested, and the third one before Kejriwal’s arrest—to see officer’s notes. It questioned the ED on the time taken to probe the case and noted that the agency has taken two years to unearth something. The bench also asked why relevant direct questions were not put to witnesses and accused in the case. 

The Supreme Court on May 3, hearing Kejriwal’s plea challenging his arrest said it may consider the Delhi chief minister’s interim bail plea during next hearing as a trial in the money laundering case could take further time. 

Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 by ED in the money laundering case and is currently lodged in Tihar Jail under judicial custody. The top court had issued a notice to the ED on April 15 and sought its response to Kejriwal's plea against his arrest.

 On April 9, the Delhi High Court upheld Kejriwal's arrest, saying there was no illegality and the ED was left with "little option" after he skipped repeated summonses and refused to join the investigation.

-with PTI inputs.

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