Kejriwal Arrest Row: Delhi HC Reserves Verdict On CM's Petition Challenging ED | Details

Delhi Chief Minister remains in judicial custody until April 15 after his arrest last month by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money-laundering case, currently lodged in Tihar jail.


Delhi Chief Minister and AAP Convenor Arvind Kejriwal | Photo: PTI

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on Delhi's sitting chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's petition challenging his arrest by the central probe agency Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money-laundering case linked to excise policy "scam"

"I am going to reserve judgement," said Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma after hearing the senior counsel appearing for the AAP leader as well as the agency.

Earlier today, Kejriwal lashed out against ED on Wednesday, saying "the sole purpose of the arrest is to humiliate me.” 

What did Kejriwal say?

In a plea presented before the Delhi High Court, Kejriwal challenged his arrest by the ED, his judicial custody, and sought interim relief. Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Kejriwal, argued that there was no need for an arrest.


“Each of my 7-8 replies to the ED summons are very detailed. I have given my replies without any questionnaire. There is nothing that cannot be done this way so there is no necessity to arrest,” Singhvi stated on behalf of Kejriwal, as reported by LiveLaw.

“Apart from the fact that your necessity to arrest is occasioned by completely ulterior motives... There is an old saying - "If I am, I can do anything." Just because you have power to arrest, the test is not "can arrest." The test is "should arrest" test,” the senior advocate argued.


How did ED respond?

On Tuesday, responding to Kejriwal's plea, the ED submitted a detailed reply, labelling Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as the "kingpin" and "key conspirator" of the "excise scam." The federal agency opposed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener's petition challenging his arrest in the money laundering case.

The Enforcement Directorate stated that there were "reasons to believe on the basis of material in possession" that Kejriwal was "guilty of the offence of money laundering."

On Wednesday, the central probe agency also mentioned that it wanted to attach some properties of the Aam Admi Party (AAP) in the Delhi liquor policy case but was in a dilemma.

"We want to attach some properties of AAP. If we do that, then they will say what is all this at the time of elections?. If we don't do it, then they will say where is the proof? We are in a catch 22 situation," the ED said.

Meanwhile, Delhi Minister and AAP leader Gopal Rai announced on Wednesday that the Aam Aadmi Party will observe a ‘Samuhik Upwas’ (community fasting) to protest against the Chief Minister's arrest at Jantar Mantar on April 7.

Kejriwal, who was arrested on March 21, has sought his release on the grounds that the arrest was illegal. He remains in judicial custody until April 15 after his arrest last month by the ED in connection with a money-laundering case, currently lodged in Tihar jail.


About The Case:

Kejriwal has been arrested in connection with an ongoing liquor policy case, under which the ED has previously alleged that through the excise policy implemented by the Delhi Government in November 2021, the AAP was involved in money laundering. 

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) alleges that the excise policy was part of a conspiracy to provide a 12 per cent wholesale business profit to certain private companies and was a coordinated effort by Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Vijay Nair and others. The policy was later scrapped after violations were reported.