'Victim Of ED's Witch-Hunt': Kejriwal Tells HC; Agency Says Delhi CM 'Kingpin, Key Conspirator'

The AAP national convenor said that his arrest was "illegally made to harass and humiliate" a political opponent.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal | Photo: PTI

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday claimed before the High Court that he is a victim of "witch-hunt" by the Enforcement Directorate and that cancellation of his bail granted by a trial court in the excise policy case would amount to "grave miscarriage of justice".

He opposed the federal agency's plea challenging his bail in the excise policy-linked money laundering case, saying that discretionary orders of bail cannot be set aside just on the basis of "perceptions and fanciful imagination" of the prosecution.

"The order passed by the special judge granting bail was not only well reasoned but prima facie showed a due application of mind in considering as well as faithfully recording and dealing with ‘relevant arguments and contentions raised on behalf of both the parties’. Therefore, to cancel the order would tantamount to grave miscarriage of justice,” the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief said in his reply.

Kejriwal urged the Delhi High Court to dismiss the probe agency's plea and vacate the June 25 interim order by which the trial court's June 20 order granting him bail was stayed.

Reiterating his claims of the ED having no material in possession as basis for further incarceration, the AAP national convenor said that his arrest was "illegally made to harass and humiliate" a political opponent.

“ED has implicated the respondent (Kejriwal) in a false and concocted story, no case is made out against the respondent and the arrest in the instant matter is absolutely illegal,” the reply claimed.

The Delhi CM's response argued that merely because the court had regulated and controlled the manner of the proceedings or asked the ED's counsel to be brief can by no means be construed as not being given adequate opportunity.

Kejriwal contented that no offense of money laundering was made out just against him, adding that his life and liberty must be protected from "unwarranted and unjustified violation" at the hands of the anti-corruption agency on the basis of a "false, malicious and motivated case".


The Enforcement Directorate, in its chargesheet filed against Arvind Kejriwal, claimed that the Delhi CM "directly used" part of the alleged Rs 100 crore generated from the "kickbacks" of the excise policy "scam" by staying in a luxury hotel in Goa.

The central probe agency also said that the Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted by Kejriwal's government in this context was a "sham".

A special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Tuesday took cognisance of the prosecution complaint, filed on May 17, and issued a production warrant for the jailed AAP chief for July 12.

In its 209-page long chargesheet, the ED said, "Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of NCT of Delhi is the kingpin and key conspirator of the Delhi excise scam in collusion with ministers of Delhi govt, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders and other persons."

In the excise policy case, it was alleged that the 'South Group' of politicians and liquor businessmen gave Rs 100 crore worth of kickbacks to gain a favourable position in the Delhi excise policy for 2021-22 and of these funds, Rs 45 crore was sent for AAP's Goa Campaign during the 2022 assembly elections.

"The AAP kept the expenses made out of the proceeds of crime of Rs 45 crore out of the books and did not disclose the same to the Election Commission of India," it said.

The agency said that the AAP chief was "liable" to be punished for his role in commission of offence of money laundering under PMLA Section 4, adding that "vicariously" as he is responsible for the conduct of the AAP's affairs, the party which is deemed a company under PMLA Section 70.

"Kejriwal who is the ultimate in-charge of AAP and was intrinsically involved in the acts of policy formulation, kickback scheme and the final use of the proceeds of crime thus generated including conspiracy thereof," the ED claimed.

The AAP Chief was arrested in connection with the case in March this year and was lodged in Delhi's Tihar Jail. He had been granted bail by the Supreme Court for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls campaign. He had surrendered back to the prison following the ending of the voting process for the seven-phase general elections.

(With PTI inputs)