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What was the hurry to arrest me now, only to humiliate, asks Kejriwal, court reserves order for tomorrow

The ED has told the Delhi High Court that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was the "kingpin" and the "key conspirator" of the "excise scam" and there were "reasons to believe" on the basis of material in its possession that he was guilty of the offence of money laundering.

Nivedita Dash Edited By: Nivedita Dash @Nivedita0503 New Delhi Updated on: April 03, 2024 17:47 IST
Arvind Kejriwal
Image Source : AP Arvind Kejriwal

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on a petition by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in a money-laundering case linked to the alleged excise policy scam. The AAP national convener, who arrested by the ED on March 21, questioned the "timing" of his arrest and said it was in contravention of the basic structure of the Constitution, including free and fair elections and level playing field.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who is representing the CM, argued, "In this case, an attempt was made to destroy the party by arresting him before the elections. Singhvi - The timing of the arrest is enough to question the intentions of ED. Singhvi – The first summons of the ED was issued in October. Arrests take place in March. Look at the timing. ED does not have any evidence worthy of arrest under PMLA. Arrest has been made in this case without recording any statement."

He further said, "This arrest does not meet the provisions given in sections 15 and 19 of PMLA. Kejriwal's statement was not recorded between the first summons and arrest. After all, what is the need for haste in this matter…there was so much gap between the first and last summons. If a constitutional amendment tampers with the basic structure of the Constitution then it is struck down."

"There is no basis for arrest under Section 19. Neither is there any evidence..nor are you assuming Kejriwal to be guilty..overall there is no basis for arrest.. No attempt was made to take any statement at the time of arrest at Kejriwal's house. Whereas ED should have done this before arresting him. ED's statement that I did not comply with the summons is misleading," he added.

"It is not easy to get bail under PMLA. Therefore, the arrest shown under Section 19 is also strict. Therefore, the arrest made by ED also does not hold true. ED could not prove why Kejriwal was arrested. It is not easy to get bail under PMLA. Therefore, the arrest shown under Section 19 is also strict. Therefore, the arrest made by ED also does not hold true," he said.

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