SC asks ED to reply why Delhi CM Kejriwal was arrested just before Lok Sabha election

New Delhi (| The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Enforcement Directorate to reply as to why Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was arrested just before the Lok Sabha election in connection with the Delhi Excise Policy Case. A bench comprising Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Dipankar Datta asked ED to reply the five questions regarding the arrest of Kejriwal.

The Bench asked Additional Solicitor General SV Raju to answer the following questions on the next date of hearing.The Court asked whether the ED can have criminal proceedings initiated without there being an adjudicatory proceeding against the accused.
There are no proceedings of attachment in this case so far, and if there are, then show how Kejriwal is involved, the court asked ED.

The Court asked where the Kejriwal case lies viz a viz Manish Sisodia case where there are findings in favour and against Sisodia but no findings against Delhi CM.

The Apex Court asked ED to interpret that the threshold under Section 19 of PMLA, which casts the onus on the prosecution and not on the accused, is fairly high, whereas, under Section 45, the onus shifts on the accused. “ Do we make the threshold much higher and ensure that standard is the same, ” the court asked.

The Court also asked the prosecuting agency to explain the time gap between the initiation of proceedings and the action of arrest etc. The Court asked ED to explain the timing of the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister which is just before the Lok Sabha election.
The court was hearing the plea of Kejriwal who has challenged his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the money laundering case relating to the Excise policy in the Liquor Scam.

The ED’s money laundering case against Kejriwal was registered on August 17, 2022, in connection with alleged irregularities in the Delhi Excise Policy for 2021-22.

The case was registered on a complaint made by Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena on July 20, 2022.

It has been alleged that a criminal conspiracy was hatched by AAP leaders, including Kejriwal, former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and others to formulate a new excise policy for the Delhi government and higher rates were levied on the sale of liquor.

New vendors were appointed and given licences for the sale of liquor in Delhi. The amount received through the new vendors was transferred to the Aam Aadmi Party account and used for elections in Goa, the ED had alleged. (UNI)