Supreme Court to Review Arvind Kejriwal's Arrest by ED in Excise Policy Case

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal's plea challenging his arrest and remand by ED in the excise policy case reaches Supreme Court. High Court dismissed his plea citing evidence of his involvement. Allegations include misuse of funds for political campaigns. Case listed for April 15.

On April 15th, the Supreme Court is set to examine the appeal of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is currently in jail, against his arrest and detention by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) regarding the excise policy case [Arvind Kejriwal vs Directorate of Enforcement].

This matter will be heard by Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta. Kejriwal's move to the Supreme Court follows the rejection of his plea by the Delhi High Court. Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma, who presided over the High Court proceedings, asserted that there exists evidence indicating Kejriwal's involvement in the alleged scam. The court further stated that the funds obtained through kickbacks were utilized for political campaigning in the 2022 Goa legislative assembly elections.

The ED's investigation into money laundering is linked to a case initiated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on August 17, 2022, concerning purported irregularities in the Delhi Excise Policy for 2021-22. This case originated from a complaint filed by Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena on July 20, 2022. Allegations suggest the involvement of AAP leaders, including former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, and other individuals/entities during the formulation of the policy. The alleged conspiracy revolves around intentional loopholes in the policy, purportedly designed to benefit certain licensees and collaborators after the tender process.

Various AAP leaders, such as former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Member of Parliament Sanjay Singh, have been apprehended by the ED in connection with this case. Kejriwal, who was arrested by the ED on March 21, initially appeared before Delhi's Rouse Avenue Court, which remanded him to ED custody until March 28. Subsequently, his detention was extended until April 1, after which he was placed in judicial custody until April 15.

During his plea before the High Court, Kejriwal argued that the Central government was abusing the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the legislation under which he was detained, to distort the fairness of the electoral process leading up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Kejriwal alleged that the Central government, controlled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was attempting to manipulate the electoral landscape in its favor by leveraging its influence over the ED, which operates under the Ministry of Finance.

As of now, Kejriwal remains confined in Tihar Jail.