No Relief For Arvind Kejriwal From High Court, Next Hearing On April 3

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AAP boss Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 15.

New Delhi:

Arvind Kejriwal will spend at least another night in jail after the Delhi High Court refused a petition Wednesday, challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in the alleged liquor policy scam.

The court has issued a notice asking the ED to respond to Mr Kejriwal’s petition, and given the probe agency time till April 2 to do so. The next hearing in this case is on April 3.

Mr Kejriwal is currently in ED custody; he is being held in the lock-up at the agency’s Delhi office.

On Thursday the agency’s 7-day custody of the AAP leader expires and he will be back in court (this time in Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court), where, most likely, the authorities will ask for further custody.

In a long-drawn and intense hearing today, Mr Kejriwal’s legal team slammed the Enforcement Directorate’s “delaying tactics” after the agency asked for three weeks’ time to respond.

Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the ED, said the copy of the petition had been served late, and that he needed time to study the document. Senior lawyer Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for Mr Kejriwal, said the petition had been filed on March 23. “Defects were cured later. I am sure Mr Raju does not want us to serve a defective copy to him… we shared petition with him.”

In his petition, Mr Kejriwal had said his arrested violated his human rights, and that the Enforcement Directorate had failed to prove the alleged crime. “Arrest without interrogation shows the current action is politically motivated,” Mr Singhvi argued, underlining the AAP’s claim that Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest was timed to disrupt the party’s campaign for next month’s Lok Sabha election.

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