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No relief for Arvind Kejriwal from arrest by Delhi High Court in liquor case, next hearing on April 3

The AAP took to the streets on Tuesday over the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal with its leaders and workers trying to march towards the prime minister's residence before being stopped while the BJP held counter protests demanding the Delhi chief minister's resignation.

Edited By: Nivedita Dash @Nivedita0503 New Delhi Updated on: March 27, 2024 18:59 IST
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal
Image Source : PTI Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who approached the Delhi High Court, seeking release from Enforcement Directorate's (ED) custody in the liquor scam case, didn't get any relief from the court. The High Court will hear the matter next on April 3.

The court has issued notice to the Enforcement Directorate on a plea moved by Kejriwal raising issues of legality and validity regarding the arrest and remand and sought ED's response on the main petition as well as the application for interim release of the petitioner by April 2.

The bench of Justice Swarna Kanta Sharma stated that the respondent (ED) has to be granted an opportunity to file a reply, as an opportunity for effective representation, and declining this opportunity would amount to denial of fair hearing as well as violation of one of the principles of natural justice i.e., audi-alteram partem, which is applicable to both the parties and not one.

Court further stated that any release order from custody will amount to enlarging the accused/petitioner/Arvind Kejriwal on bail or interim bail, as an interim measure. The writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India is not a ready substitute for recourse to the remedy of bail under Section 439 of the CrPC ordinarily.

Earlier today, the probing agency urged the Delhi High Court to grant it time to file reply to a plea by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal challenging his arrest in a money-laundering case linked to the alleged excise policy scam.

Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing for the agency, said the "bulky" petition was served upon them only on Tuesday, and three weeks' time should be given to bring their stand on record.

For interim relief as well, appropriate time should be given to respond, he said. Senior advocate AM Singhvi, appearing for the AAP leader, alleged that the request to file response was a delay tactic. Challenge is to the foundation of arrest and there are several "glaring issues" that need immediate decision by the high court either way, the senior lawyer added.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener was arrested on March 21 and subsequently remanded to the ED's custody till March 28 by a Delhi court. Kejriwal had moved the high court last week with his petition but according to highly-placed sources, his request for an urgent hearing was turned down as the high court was closed for Holi.

On Friday, the trial court had remanded Kejriwal in the ED's custody till March 28 "for his detailed and sustained interrogation". The ED arrested Kejriwal hours after the high court refused to grant him protection from coercive action by the federal anti-money laundering agency.

Kejriwal had earlier approached the court to quash and setting aside all proceedings, including summonses, issued against him.

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