Arvind Kejriwal moves High Court against ‘illegal’ arrest ahead of polls

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NEW DELHI: Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal moved high court on Saturday, challenging his “illegal” arrest and subsequent remand by Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case linked to the alleged Delhi excise policy scam. While the plea sought urgent hearing, possibly on Sunday, sources in high court indicated that the matter will be listed in due course, on or after Wednesday (March 27) when HC reopens after Holi vacation.
On Friday, a trial court had remanded him in ED’s custody till March 28 “for his detailed and sustained interrogation”.
In his plea, Kejriwal, who was apprehended in a swift move by ED on Friday night, contended that his arrest and remand were illegal and that he was entitled to be released from custody immediately.ED had arrested Kejriwal hours after the high court refused to grant him protection from coercive action by the central agency. This is the third time in a week that the chief minister has knocked on the doors of the high court.
Earlier, he had moved court for quashing and setting aside all proceedings, including the ED summonses issued against him. In that petition, Kejriwal said he is a “vocal critic” of the ruling party, an opposition leader and a partner in the INDIA bloc, and ED, being under Centre’s control, had been “weaponised”.
After the court sought ED’s stand on that plea, but denied any immediate relief, the CM’s legal team approached court again the very next day seeking a direction to ED that “no coercive steps” be taken so that he can appear and anwer the summons. However, the court declined to intervene at that stage, triggering his arrest.

The case against Kejriwal pertains to alleged corruption and money laundering in formulating and executing Delhi govt’s excise policy for 2021-22 which was later scrapped. Top AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh are in judicial custody in the case.
Kejriwal’s name has been mentioned multiple times in the chargesheets filed by ED. The agency has alleged that the accused were in touch with Kejriwal for formulating the excise policy that resulted in undue benefits to them in return for which they paid kickbacks to AAP.

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