Delhi excise policy case: Supreme Court to hear today Arvind Kejriwal’s plea against his arrest by ED | Latest News India

Delhi excise policy case: Supreme Court to hear today Arvind Kejriwal’s plea against his arrest by ED | Latest News India


The Supreme Court on Monday is set to hear a plea of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and his subsequent remand in connection with the Delhi excise policy case. A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta will be hearing the matter.

Delhi chief minister and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal (PTI file photo)

Arvind Kejriwal had moved the top court challenging a Delhi high court judgment that dismissed his plea on April 9 and rejected his argument of political vendetta amid the upcoming Lok Sabha election.

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According to the Delhi high court, the probe agency had sufficient materials to justify the arrest, adding that it was an “inevitable consequence of his non-cooperation” with the ED. Notably, the probe agency had summoned Arvind Kejriwal nine times in the case, but he did not depose before it.

The 103-page judgment by the single-judge bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma also observed that the central agency could not be blamed for choosing the timing of the chief minister’s arrest.

The AAP leader was arrested on March 21 in connection with the money laundering probe linked to the alleged irregularities in the now-cancelled Delhi excise policy and was sent to judicial custody till April 15 in the last hearing. He is the first sitting CM to be arrested in the case. The CM is currently lodged in Tihar jail.

Apart from Arvind Kejriwal, AAP leader Manish Sisodia has been in jail since February last year in the excise policy case. Sanjay Singh was also arrested in the case, however, he recently got out of jail on bail.

What is the Delhi excise policy case?

The case pertains to alleged corruption and money laundering in formulating and executing the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22. The Delhi government had come up with the policy to revitalise the city’s flagging liquor business by replacing the sales-volume-based regime with a license fee for traders and promised swankier stores, free of the infamous metal grilles, ultimately giving customers a better buying experience. However, it was scrapped shortly after Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena sought a CBI probe into the policy alleging irregularities.

According to the CBI and ED, AAP leaders accepted 100 crore as kickbacks from a group of politicians and liquor businessmen to grant licenses to them under the excise policy. The central agencies in its chargesheet also said that there was an involvement of certain ‘South Group’ in the alleged irregularities.

Arvind Kejriwal’s name was also mentioned in the chargesheet as it said that all the accused in the excise policy case were allegedly in touch with the Delhi CM to formulate the excise policy that resulted in undue benefits to them in return for which they paid kickbacks to the party.

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