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April 27, 2024

Kejriwal Slams ED’s “Highhanded” Actions in Delhi Liquor Policy Case: Files Response in SC

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has hit back at the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the ongoing Delhi liquor policy case, describing their actions as “highhanded” in a response filed with the Supreme Court. The response comes as a rejoinder to the ED’s affidavit, challenging his arrest in connection to an alleged excise policy scam.

In his filing, Kejriwal asserted that he has consistently cooperated with the investigation, rejecting the ED’s claims that he failed to appear before the investigating officer despite being summoned nine times. He criticized the ED’s stance, stating that the agency’s actions were a gross affront to due process.

According to Kejriwal, the ED’s assertion that custodial interrogation was necessary due to his non-appearance for questioning is unfounded. He argued that he had responded to all summons and provided necessary information, which the ED failed to acknowledge.

The Delhi CM further contended that the ED’s reply revealed “bogey and blatant falsehood” in their proceedings, emphasizing that each summons issued to him had been duly responded to. He questioned the necessity of physical presence, suggesting alternative means like authorized agents or virtual modes for communication.

Kejriwal reiterated his plea for release, asserting his entitlement to it. However, the ED, in its earlier affidavit to the apex court, labeled Kejriwal as the “kingpin” of the excise policy scam, alleging his collusion with ministers and AAP leaders. They accused him of demanding kickbacks from liquor businessmen in exchange for policy favors.

The ED defended Kejriwal’s arrest, stating that it was based on substantial evidence and did not violate the concept of free and fair elections. They maintained that the material forming the basis of his arrest had been scrutinized by various courts.

Kejriwal was arrested on March 21, following the Delhi High Court’s refusal to shield him from coercive action by the ED. Currently held in Tihar jail under judicial custody, his petition challenging the arrest was termed “devoid of merit” by the ED, who called for its dismissal.

The matter revolves around alleged corruption and money laundering in the formulation and execution of Delhi’s excise policy for 2021-22, which was later scrapped. The Delhi High Court had upheld Kejriwal’s arrest, citing his repeated non-appearance before the ED as justification.

With the Supreme Court issuing a notice to the ED and seeking its response to Kejriwal’s plea, the case remains a focal point in the ongoing legal battle between the Delhi CM and the enforcement agency.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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