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Judiciary

Recovered direct chats between Kejriwal and hawala operators on transfer of money, ED claims before SC

By Jhanak Singh      18 May, 2024 11:47 AM      0 Comments
Recovered direct chats between Kejriwal and hawala operators on transfer of money ED claims before SC

NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate on Friday told the Supreme Court that it has recovered direct chats between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and hawala operators showing transfer of money in the Delhi liquor policy scam case.

It also said the agency has filed the eighth charge sheet making both the AAP and Kejriwal as accused in the case.

The court, on its part, reserved its judgement on an appeal filed by Kejriwal challenging his March 21 arrest by the Enforcement Directorate and subsequent remand in the 2022 Delhi liquor policy scam case.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta closed the  proceedings after hearing the arguments for four days on behalf of Kejriwal and the Enforcement Directorate.

The court also clarified that the petitioner can approach the trial court for regular bail.

Kejriwal is out on bail till June 1 as on May 10, the Supreme Court had granted him interim relief for campaign during the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.

During the hearing, the bench went through the records of the case and asked the ED to submit a chart to show what new evidence had emerged after arrest of former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to justify its decision to arrest Kejriwal.

Appearing for ED, Additional Solicitor General S V Raju told the court that the agency formally made AAP and Kejriwal as accused in the Delhi excise policy case in the eighth chargesheet in the liquor case.

The ED also led by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta claimed before the court that it discovered the alleged chats between Kejriwal and some hawala operators regarding the alleged proceeds of crime in the case, related to transfer of money.

The agency claimed that the chats have been recovered from the devices of hawala operators after Kejriwal refused to share the password of his devices.

"We now have direct chats between Arvind Kejriwal and hawala operators in the case," Raju said.

"Kejriwal had destroyed many phones, recovery has been made from hawala operators now with arrest," he added.

The court, after completing hearing the arguments, gave time of one week to all the parties to file additional documents in the case.

In his contention, senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Kejriwal, said that the material being cited by ED now to defend Chief Minister’s arrest was not present during his arrest.

"There was no material or evidence against my client in any manner," he said.

During the hearing, the ED also claimed that there was a direct evidence of Kejriwal demanding Rs 100 crore as kickbacks in the case.

"There is evidence that Kejriwal demanded a bribe of Rs 100 crores which went to the AAP for Goa election expenses," Raju said.

He claimed, besides the vicarious liability as the head of the AAP, Kejriwal is also directly liable as the person who played a major role in formulating the excise policy.

He said there was evidence to show that Kejriwal's stay in a seven-star hotel in Goa was partly funded by an accused.

The AAP convenor had moved the apex court challenging the Delhi HC's rejection of his plea challenging his arrest and remand by the ED.

Justifying Kejriwal's arrest in the case, the ED had told the court that he was the mastermind and main conspirator in the case. "We have all the evidence against him," ASG Raju said.

Kejriwal approached the top court after the Delhi High Court had on April 9 dismissed his plea against  arrest and remand in the case.



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