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Excise 'Scam': Delhi HC Refuses To Interfere With CM Kejriwal's Arrest By ED

The judge, in the order, clarified the matter would be taken up for final disposal on April 3 and no adjournment shall be granted.

Delhi High Court
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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to interfere with the arrest of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering case linked to the excise policy 'scam'.

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma issued notice on the AAP leader's petition challenging his arrest and the subsequent remand to the ED's custody, and asked the agency to file its response to it as well as his plea for interim relief of release before April 2.

The judge, in the order, clarified the matter would be taken up for final disposal on April 3 and no adjournment shall be granted.

"This Court deems it appropriate to issue notice of the main writ petition as well as application for grant of interim relief, returnable on 03.04.2024," the court said.

"The Directorate of Enforcement will ensure that replies are filed to the main petition as well as the application for interim release of the petitioner by 02.04.2024 and copies of the same are provided in digitized form as well as hard copy to the learned counsel for the petitioner," ordered the court.

Kejriwal, who was arrested on March 21 and subsequently remanded to the ED's custody till March 28 by a Delhi court, sought his immediate release on the ground that the arrest was illegal.

Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for Kejriwal, contended the arrest of a sitting chief minister on the cusp of elections was against the basic structure of the Constitution.

"Object of the arrest was not to find material but to disable me and my party. My prayer is, release me now," he argued.

Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing for the ED, said the "bulky" petition was served upon them only on Tuesday, and time should be given to bring their stand on record.

For interim relief as well, appropriate time should be given to respond, he said.

On Friday, the trial court had remanded Kejriwal to the ED's custody till March 28 "for his detailed and sustained interrogation".

The ED arrested Kejriwal hours after the high court refused to grant him protection from coercive action by the anti-money laundering probe agency.

The case pertains to the alleged corruption and money laundering in formulating and executing the Delhi government's excise policy for 2021-22 that was later scrapped.

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