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Kejriwal arrest not in contravention of Law, remand can't be termed 'illegal': Delhi HC

Kejriwal arrest not in contravention of Law, remand can't be termed 'illegal': Delhi HC
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's plea challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the Excise policy case and said that Kejriwal's arrest is not in contravention of Law and remand can't be termed "illegal".

The bench of Justice Swarna Kanta Sharma said, ED was in possession of enough material which had led them to arrest Kejriwal. Non-joining of the investigation by Kejriwal, delay caused by him was also impacting those in judicial custody.

The material collected by the Enforcement Directorate reveals that Arvind Kejriwal conspired and was actively involved in the use and concealment of proceeds of crime. The ED case also reveals that he was involved in his personal capacity as well as the convenor of Aam Aadmi Party.

The court further stated that this court is of the opinion that the accused has been arrested and his arrest and remand have to be examined as per law and not as per the timing of elections. Kejriwal's challenge to the timing of arrest before General elections in the absence of any mala fide on part of ED not sustainable, said the court.

Arvind Kejriwal through the plea alleged that the ED has at the time of arrest "failed to establish" that the petitioner is guilty of committing activities stipulated under Section 3, i.e., be it one of concealment, possession, acquisition, use of proceeds of crime as much as projecting it as untainted property or claiming it to be so.

Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 by the Enforcement Directorate in relation to the excise policy case.

The trial court on April 1, sent Arvind Kejriwal to judicial custody till April 15, 2024. ED alleged that the Aam Adami Party (AAP) is the major beneficiary of the proceeds of crime generated in the alleged liquor scam.

The agency also claimed that Kejriwal was directly involved in the formation of the excise policy.

The case pertains to alleged irregularities and money laundering in framing and implementing the Delhi Excise Policy 2022, which was later scrapped.

While Kejriwal was not named in the FIRs registered by the ED or the Central Bureau of Investigation in the Delhi excise policy case, his name first found a mention in the ED's chargesheet, wherein the agency claimed that he allegedly spoke to one of the main accused, Sameer Mahendru, in a video call and asked him to continue working with co-accused and AAP communications-in-charge Vijay Nair.

Nair was among the first people to be arrested by the CBI in the case, in 2022. Subsequently, former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh were arrested in connection with the case. The latter, however, was granted bail by the Supreme Court last week.

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