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Delhi excise policy case: Delhi High Court on Wednesday y refused to interfere with the arrest of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal by the Enforcement Directorate in the excise policy case. However, the court issued notice to anti-money laundering agency on plea moved by Kejriwal raising issues of legality and validity regarding the arrest and remand .

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma has sought ED’s response on the main petition as well as the application for interim release of the petitioner by April 2. 

“The Directorate of Enforcement will ensure that replies are filed to the main petition as well as the application for interim release of the petitioner by 02.04.2024 and copies of the same are provided in digitized form as well as hard copy to the learned counsel for the petitioner,” ordered Delhi High Court.

The Judge clarified the next hearing for the final disposal would be taken up on April 3 and no adjournment shall be granted.

“This Court deems it appropriate to issue notice of the main writ petition as well as application for grant of interim relief, returnable on 03.04.2024,” the court said.

Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 and was subsequently remanded to the ED’s custody till March 28. The Delhi CM has sought his immediate release saying that his arrest was illegal.

Appearing for Kejriwal, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi contended that the arrest of a sitting chief minister on the cusp of upcoming Lok Sabha elections 2024 was against the basic structure of the Constitution.

“Object of the arrest was not to find material but to disable me and my party. My prayer is, release me now,” he argued.

While the Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing for the ED, said the “bulky” petition was served upon them only on Tuesday, and time should be given to bring their stand on record.

For interim relief as well, appropriate time should be given to respond, he said.

The excise policy case pertains to the alleged corruption and money laundering in formulating and executing the Delhi government’s liquor policy 2021-22 that was later scrapped. 

(With agency inputs

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Published: 27 Mar 2024, 06:45 PM IST

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