Arvind Kejriwal delhi high court hearing Bid to stop me from participating in election' | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Arvind Kejriwal Delhi high court hearing: 'Bid to stop me from participating in election'

Apr 03, 2024 03:41 PM IST

Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi high court: ED said if "criminals" can be arrested because the election is here, then all criminals will roam freely.

As the Delhi high court on Wednesday began hearing chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's plea against the arrest by ED in the liquor policy case, advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the court that the timing of the arrest reeked of a democracy issue as the petitioner (Kejriwal) would not be able to participate in the election process. The arrest was a bid to demolish the party (Aam Aadmi Party) even before the first vote is cast, Singhvi said beginning the argument.

The Delhi high court on Wednesday heard Kejriwal's plea challenging his arrest by the ED on March 21 in Delhi liquor probe. (Hindustan Times)
The Delhi high court on Wednesday heard Kejriwal's plea challenging his arrest by the ED on March 21 in Delhi liquor probe. (Hindustan Times)

Questioning the urgency of Kejriwal's arrest, Singhvi said: "Level playing field is not just a phrase or word but has three components—- it is part of free and fair elections which, in turn, is part of democracy and basic structure. It (the arrest) reeks of the timing issue — to not participate in the election and to try and demolish the political party before the first vote is cast. The timing reeks of basic structure, democracy issue, free and fair elections issueThe timing reeks of basic structure issue, free and fair election issue and democracy issue. What is this urgency or necessity?”

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Arvind Kejriwal's bail plea hearing in Delhi high court: Follow LIVE updates

Singhvi argued that between October 30, 2023 (the date of the first summons) and March 16 (the date of the 9th summons), the ED found no material supporting Section 50 of the PMLA. The ED remand application said they wanted to find out the role of the chief minister which can't be the grounds for the arrest, Kejriwal's lawyer said.

On April 1, Kejriwal was sent to 15-day judicial custody by the Rouse Avenue court. The high court is hearing a plea moved by the Delhi chief minister challenging his arrest.

While Kejriwal continued to remain the chief minister even after being sent to Tihar, AAP MP Sanjay Singh on Tuesday got bail in the same case. But Sanjay Singh's bail could not be cited as precedent in any other case, the Supreme Court stipulated.

The ED argued that Kejriwal could not take the bogey of elections because the elections have come now; the ED has not become active now.

Scam beyond doubt: ED

The ED counsel said it is beyond doubt that there is a scam. "Howsoever you make hue and cry today but it is clear that there was a scam and the exchequer and public have been deprived of the money. The fact that there was a scam running into 100 crore was not at the time of the elections. They cannot take a bogey of elections. The elections have come now. It’s not as if ED has become active now," ED counsel said.

ED's lawyer S Raju said the money was not found because the money was used in the Goa election campaign. "Money can be sent abroad as well. And when the ED asks you where the money is, you say you don't know," he said.

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