Arvind Kejriwal News / SC reprimands ED in Kejriwal's arrest case, says- 'You are snatching a person's right to live'

Vikrant Shekhawat : May 07, 2024, 01:35 PM
Arvind Kejriwal News: Hearing has started in the Supreme Court on the petition of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal challenging the arrest made by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the money laundering case related to Delhi Excise Policy. A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Dutta was given a note by Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the ED, in which he opposed Kejriwal's contention that the investigating agency had suppressed the statements of government witnesses. Court asks ED to produce case files before and after the arrest of former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in the Delhi Excise Policy scam. The court has also asked for the case file of Kejriwal before his arrest from ED.

ASG Raju argued on behalf of ED

During the hearing, ASG SV Raju started speaking first on behalf of ED. SV Raju said that in this case, cash transactions worth Rs 100 crore had taken place through hawala operators. The court asked ASG Raju how the bribe of Rs 100 crore became Rs 1100 crore in two years? On this, Raju said that liquor companies earned a profit of Rs 900 crore from this. ASG Raju said that factually there is no contradiction in the statements. They cannot be considered in favor of the petitioner. He said that the statement given under Section 164 of CrPC is an independent statement given before the Magistrate. Justice Sanjeev Khanna asked the ED when the first government official was arrested in this case. On this Raju said that the first arrest was made on March 9.

Court said- investigation going on for 2 years, this is not right

Justice Sanjeev Khanna questioned the arguments of ED lawyer ASG Raju that what you are saying quoting from the statements could possibly be your imagination that kickback was given. On this, ASG Raju said that we are taking our investigation forward on the basis of these statements. We are also getting success in that. Supreme Court asked for the case file from ED. Along with this, documents related to ECIR registration, arrest of Sharad Shetty and before and after arrest of Manish Sisodia were also sought. The Supreme Court also asked for the file before the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal from ED. The Supreme Court said that the investigation has been going on for two years. It is not right for any investigating agency to continue the investigation like this for 2 years.

Kejriwal demanded Rs 100 crore

Justice Sanjeev Khanna asked ED whether the political executive was also involved in making the policy? The court said that the scope of our discussion is till the implementation of Section 19 of ED. Were the provisions of Section 19 followed in Kejriwal's arrest or not? You tell the court about this. ASG Raju said that we came to know that Arvind Kejriwal had stayed in a 7 star hotel in Goa during the Goa elections. Part of his expenses were paid by the person who had taken the cash. This is not a politically motivated matter. ASG Raju said that we can show that Kejriwal demanded Rs 100 crore. In the initial phase, there was no focus on Kejriwal, the investigating agency was not paying attention to him. As the investigation progressed, his role became clear. He said that there is not a single statement exonerating Kejriwal. If we had started asking about Kejriwal in the beginning itself, it would have been termed as malicious. It takes time to understand the case, things have to be confirmed.

When was Kejriwal's name taken for the first time?

Justice Sanjeev Khanna asked when was Kejriwal's name taken for the first time in the statements? On this, ASG Raju said that his name appeared for the first time in the statement of Buchi Babu on 23 February 2023. ASG Raju said that no one needs to believe that whatever the witness has told the investigating officer can mislead the investigating agency, therefore the investigation should not be conducted in such a way that we reach the accused first. There may be many obstacles in this. The Supreme Court told the ED that the statements of the four accused which were given against Arvind. Give us their names and dates.

All facts must be seen: Court

Supreme Court asked a big question to ED. Justice Dipankar Dutta said that if there is material which points to guilt and others which point to non-guilt, can you selectively take only some material? On this SG Raju said that it depends on the investigating officer. Justice Dutta said that this is an administrative task? You have to balance both. Cannot exclude one part. You are taking away a person's right to live. Justice Sanjeev Khanna said that all the facts should be looked at. The standard of arrest is very high.

Can't treat political people differently

Justice Sanjeev Khanna said that it is election season, this is an extraordinary situation, he is the CM of Delhi, there are no cases against him. Expressing opposition to the statement of Justice Sanjeev Khanna, SG Tushar Mehta said that this cannot happen just because someone is the CM. Are we making exceptions for politicians? Will campaigning for elections be more important? Justice Khanna said that this is a different matter. Elections are held once in 5 years. We don't like it. Justice Khanna said that political people cannot be treated differently and we agree on this. ASG said that but on the face of it the arrest was correct. Justice Sanjiv Khanna said that you see, we are in the Supreme Court, we can say that the arrest was correct and still grant interim bail and then correct ourselves.

Wrong message should not go from the highest court

SG Tushar Mehta said that he went on meditation, kept postponing the summons for 6 months, if he had cooperated earlier then it was possible that the arrest would not have happened. SG Tushar Mehta said that no wrong message should be sent from the country's biggest court. If this happens it will be unfortunate. Justice Sanjiv Khanna said that he was entitled to say that the arrest had taken place just before the elections. We understand your objections. SG Mehta said that you should not make this an exception. This will discourage a common man. That means if you are CM then you will get different treatment. If this happens then every citizen of the country will file a petition seeking bail.

Arvind Kejriwal is not a habitual criminal: Court

Justice Khanna said that he has not appeared before the investigating agency for 9 summons and 6 months, we are also taking that on record. Justice Sanjeev Khanna said that if we reserve the decision, we will have to pronounce it. But it also has to be seen that this period will not return. We have been granting interim bail in exceptional cases. Arvind Kejriwal is not a habitual criminal. Let us tell you that now the hearing in this case will be held at 1 pm.

What is the matter

Let us tell you that Kejriwal was arrested in this case on March 21 and he is lodged in Tihar Jail in judicial custody. The apex court had on April 15 issued a notice to the ED and sought its response on Kejriwal's plea against his arrest. The Delhi High Court had on April 9 upheld Kejriwal's arrest, saying there was nothing illegal in it and the ED was left with very few options after Kejriwal repeatedly ignored the summons.