News Leak Centre

No Fear No Favour

“Delhi High Court Upholds Validity of Arvind Kejriwal’s ED Arrest in Liquor Policy Case”

In a significant development, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s plea challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the money laundering case linked to an alleged liquor policy scam. Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma, presiding over the case, upheld Kejriwal’s arrest and subsequent remand, citing substantial evidence presented by the ED, including statements from approvers and allegations that Kejriwal received funds for the Goa elections.

The court invoked Section 70 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), which penalizes offenses by companies, emphasizing that even though the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is a political party registered under the Representative of Peoples Act and not a company, Kejriwal, being in charge of its conduct, could be held accountable. Kejriwal had argued against vicarious liability, but the court deemed it applicable in this instance.

Furthermore, the court addressed concerns raised by Kejriwal’s legal team regarding the timing of his arrest, particularly in the lead-up to general elections. It emphasized that the legality of the arrest and remand should be evaluated according to the law, irrespective of the election timetable, unless there is evidence of malice on the part of the ED. The court also refuted claims by Kejriwal’s counsel questioning the credibility of statements made by approvers, stating that such statements are recorded by the court, not the investigating agency, and casting doubt on this process undermines the judicial system.

Regarding Kejriwal’s current status, the court noted that he is in judicial custody since his arrest on March 21, with his custody extended multiple times. Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Kejriwal, argued that the ED failed to comply with Section 50 of the PMLA, which empowers the agency to issue summons and collect evidence. Singhvi also alleged coercion of approvers by the ED, some of whom, he claimed, had ties to the ruling party.

In response, the ED asserted that Kejriwal was the mastermind behind the excise scam, implicating the Aam Aadmi Party as a major beneficiary of the proceeds of crime. The agency emphasized Kejriwal’s central role in decision-making and control over the AAP’s activities, as evident from witness statements. This legal battle underscores the complexity of the case and the high stakes involved, with both sides presenting vigorous arguments to support their positions.

Also Read |

Author:- Apoorva Arora

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *