Arvind Kejriwal moves Supreme Court after HC rejects plea against arrest in Delhi liquor policy case



Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court after the High Court rejected his petition against his arrest in the liquor excise policy case, Bar and Bench reported.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi mentioned the case for urgent hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud. The chief justice asked Singhvi to send an email and said he would look into it.

Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21 and is currently in Delhi’s Tihar Jail.

The High Court, while rejecting the petition against the chief minister’s arrest, had said that the material collected by the central law enforcement agency showed that he was actively involved in the use and concealment of the proceeds of crime.

The court also noted that the statements of Hyderabad-based businessman Sarath Chandra Reddy and Telugu Desam Party leader Raghav Magunta, two persons accused in the case, who later turned approvers – or government witnesses – could not be doubted.

Hours before Kejriwal’s arrest, electoral bond data released by the Election Commission showed a company linked to Reddy had donated Rs 5 crore to the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2022, just five days after Reddy was taken in custody. Another Rs 25 crore was donated to the BJP after Reddy turned approver in the case.

Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy, the father of Raghav Magunta, got a Lok Sabha election ticket from the Telugu Desam Party, which is an ally of the BJP, on March 29.

Addressing Kejriwal’s assertions about these developments, a single-judge bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma said that it could not “step into the shoes of the trial court”.

The High Court also rejected the contention that the chief minister could have been questioned through video conferencing, and said it is not for the accused person to decide how an investigation should be carried out.

The Enforcement Directorate is investigating allegations of money laundering in the Delhi liquor policy case based on the first information report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The two central agencies have alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party government modified Delhi’s now-scrapped liquor excise policy by increasing the commission of wholesalers from 5% to 12%. This allegedly facilitated the receipt of bribes from wholesalers who had a substantial market share and turnover.

The Enforcement Directorate alleged that Kejriwal himself engaged with key accused persons and urged them to collaborate with others involved in the case. It claimed that the Aam Aadmi Party chief was the “kingpin” and the “key conspirator” in the alleged scam and that material evidence had shown him to be guilty of money laundering.






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