National

No Relief To Kejriwal From SC, LS Polls To Start For AAP With Leader In Jail

The AAP is campaigning without its key leader for the Lok Sabha elections 2024, which begin on April 19. The seven constituencies of Delhi will be voting in the sixth phase, taking place on May 25, while in Punjab, another AAP-ruled state, polling is scheduled on June 1, the seventh phase.

PTI
A banner hangs on a foot over bridge at ITO in support of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who is in judicial custody till April 15 in connection with a money-laundering case linked to the alleged Delhi excise policy scam, at ITO, in New Delhi, Friday, April 12, 2024. Photo: PTI
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In a major setback to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, its arrested supremo Arvind Kejriwal will continue to stay in jail as the Supreme Court on Monday posted the hearing on his plea against arrest to April end. The Supreme court asked the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file its response on or before April 24 on the Delhi chief minister's plea against his arrest.

In another development, a Delhi court extended Arvind Kejriwal's judicial custody till April 23.

The Supreme Court on Monday posted the plea of Arvind Kejriwal on the week commencing from April 29. Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Kejriwal, told the Supreme Court that the arrest was made to disable him from campaigning.

Delhi CM and Aam Aadmi Party supremo Arvind Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 by the ED in connection with a money laundering case linked to the alleged excise or liquor policy 'scam'. Kejriwal is currently in judicial custody in the Tihar jail.

The matter pertains to alleged corruption and money laundering in the formulation and execution of the Delhi government's excise policy for 2021-22 that was later scrapped.

The AAP is campaigning without its key leader for the Lok Sabha elections 2024, which begin on April 19. The seven constituencies of Delhi will be voting in the sixth phase, taking place on May 25, while in Punjab, another AAP-ruled state, polling is scheduled on June 1, the seventh phase.

The Delhi high court had on April 9 upheld Arvind Kejriwal's arrest in the money-laundering case, saying the ED was left with "little option" after he skipped repeated summonses and refused to join the investigation.

What Did Delhi HC Say While Rejecting Kejriwal's Plea

Dismissing Arvind Kejriwal's plea on Tuesday, April 9, the Delhi High Court said it is of the view that his arrest "was not in contravention of legal provisions." The remand can't be held to be illegal, said Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma while delivering the verdict.

Besides his arrest, Kejriwal, who is currently in judicial custody till April 15, also challenged his subsequent remand in ED custody in the case.

Delhi High Court said that the chief minister has been arrested in a money laundering case and the court "has to examine his arrest and remand as per law irrespective of the timing of the elections."

"ED was in possession of enough material which led to arrest of Arvind Kejriwal in money laundering case," the Delhi High Court said on Tuesday, adding that trial court's remand order "was well reasoned."

The Delhi High Court also said that courts are concerned with "constitutional morality, not political morality".

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