Supreme Court reserves verdict on Kejriwal’s plea against ED arrest

The agency has filed the eighth chargesheet in the liquor case, naming Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party as accused.
Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of IndiaFile Photo | PTI

NEW DELHI: THE Supreme Court on Friday reserved its order on an appeal filed by Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal challenging his arrest and subsequent remand by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the excise policy case.

A two-judge bench of the top court, led by Justice Sanjiv Khanna and comprising Justice Dipankar Datta, reserved the judgment, after hearing extensively, the submissions made by the probe agency and Kejriwal “We have hear the arguments. So the judgment is reserved,” said the bench.

During the course of the hearing, the bench went through the written records of the case and asked the ED to submit a chart showing what new evidence emerged after former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s arrest to justify its decision to arrest Kejriwal.

Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing for the ED, told the apex court that the agency formally made AAP and Arvind Kejriwal accused in the Delhi excise policy case. The agency has filed the eighth chargesheet in the liquor case, naming Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party as accused.

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The ED told the court it has discovered alleged chats between Kejriwal and hawala operators regarding the alleged proceeds of crime in the excise policy case. The probe agency claimed the chats were recovered from devices of hawala operators after Kejriwal refused to share the password to his devices. “We now have direct chats between Arvind Kejriwal and hawala operators in the case,” Raju said.

The apex court, after hearing the arguments, gave one week’s time to all parties to file additional documents in the case.

Opposing ED’s submissions, advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Kejriwal, contended that the material being cited by ED to defend the CM’s arrest was not present during his arrest. “There is no material evidence against my client,” he asserted.

“There is evidence that Kejriwal demanded `100 crore as bribe which went to the AAP for Goa election expenses,” ED contended, adding, apart from his liability as the AAP supremo, Kejriwal is also directly liable for his role in formulating the excise policy.

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