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Judiciary

SC notice to ED; declines early date on plea by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal against arrest

By Jhanak Singh      15 April, 2024 03:08 PM      0 Comments
SC notice to ED declines early date on plea by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal against arrest

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Enforcement Directorate but declined early hearing on a petition filed by Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal against the Delhi High Court's judgment upholding his arrest and remand in the 2022 liquor policy scam case.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta rejected a plea by senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Kejriwal, to schedule the matter for hearing on Friday.

Also Read - SC to hear plea by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on April 15

"We are issuing notice, fix the matter in the week commencing on April 29," the bench said.

"This is shortest possible date," the bench said.

Singhvi claimed the arrest was made to disable Kejriwal from campaign during the Lok Sabha Elections, he said.

He claimed the facts of the case may shock the conscience of the court. He questioned the timing of the arrest. "The arrest was made in an unusual manner, he was not named in the ECIR or charge sheets filed by the CBI and the ED," he said.

He sought a date of hearing on Friday as first phase of Lok Sabha elections are scheduled on April 19.

Also Read -  Delhi HC rejects third plea for Arvind Kejriwal's removal as Delhi CM, blasts petitioner for abuse of judicial process

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED submitted that it cannot be a ground to give an early date of hearing.

The bench said it would issue notice and fixed the matter for hearing in the week commencing April 29.

The court asked the ED to file a reply by April 24.

The Delhi High Court had on April 9 rejected Kejriwal's plea challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate noting that "the arrest was legal".

"The arrest of Arvind Kejriwal was not in contravention of the legal provisions. The remand can't be held to be illegal," Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma said in her judgement on a writ petition.

Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 in the case after his failure to appear before the ED in response to nine summons. He is currently under the judicial custody.

"The material collected by the ED reveals that Kejriwal conspired and was involved in formulation of excise policy and used proceeds of crime. He is also allegedly involved in personal capacity in formulation of policy and demanding kickbacks and secondly in the capacity of national convenor of AAP," the HC had said.

Also Read -  Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal moves Supreme Court

The High Court had also rejected contention by Kejriwal on approvers statements can't be relied upon against him, saying merely because approver chose to reveal some facts at a later stage, the statements can't be disregarded.

It also pointed out the law on approvers was over 100 years old and recording of their statements is not in domain of the investigating agency. The HC had also said there can't be different criteria for the petitioner on the ground that he was the Chief Minister.

 



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