LIVE UPDATES from Delhi High Court

LIVE UPDATES from Delhi High Court


Court rises for lunch break.

Court: Mr Desai, I will hear ED after lunch. If there is anything you want to add, you can do that in rejoinder.

ASG opposes senior advocate Amit Desai also making submissions for Kejriwal.

ASG: No aam aadmi (common man) can afford two senior lawyers. You may be powerful, you may be rich but you cannot have two senior lawyers like this.

Singhvi: It is often that these matters are treated like regular matters. I am opposing the slightest delay in the case.

Singhvi: This is complete vicarious liablity.

Singhvi: They invoked Section 70 PMLA – it cannot arise at all since it is for companies. When a political party like AAP is registered party under Representation of People Act, then a different statute cannot be subsumed in the heading of ‘company’ in PMLA. Section 70 is falsely, inaccurately and wrongly used.

Singhvi: Even in grounds of arrest there is nothing after this. We have checked every line.

ASG: It is factually incorrect.

Singhvi: This (Manish Sisodia) judgement is from October 30. Nothing new has come after this judgement. What are we talking about?

Singhvi: The only allegation is that these people gave me money so I have possession.

Singhvi now refers to Supreme Court’s judgement in Manish Sisodia case.

Singhvi: My point is here, it falls in category of very weak because there is not corroboration.

Court: The standard of proof at time when the person is convicted and (standard) where chargesheet is not filed will be different.

Singhvi: After several exculpatory statements … weight of these statements without being tested in cross, is very very low.

Singhvi continues. He is referring to certain judgements.

Singhvi: These are not unreported judgements.

ASG: It is a question of propriety.

Singhvi: This was ruse number 3 to adjourn the matter.

ASG: I can’t be expected to sit quiet when these things are done.

Singhvi refers to certain judgments.

ASG: I have one more objection. They extract one paragraph of the judgement and does not give me the full judgement so that I can point out in which context the observation was made. They are doing it deliberately and they do it every time.

Singhvi: This is his third-best argument. He has already made his best and second-best argument.

Singhvi: Not a comma or full stop of corroboration is even alleged, forget proved.

You have found nothing against me over all these years. This is clearly a fixed match you are trying to play: Singhvi.

Singhvi also refers to statement of C Aravind.

Singhvi: He only says he gave a file to Sisodia when in the same room Kejriwal was also standing. That’s it. Nothing more. What did he do? Nothing.

Singhvi now refers to statement of Buchi Babu.

This is reprehensible conduct by a prosecutor which is supposed to be fair: Singhvi.

Singhvi: It is utterly shameful. There are 13 statements by Reddy. There is nothing against me in 11 statements.

ASG objects.

ASG: We have not filed prosecution complaint against him (Kejriwal).

Singhvi: He then gives a statements on 25 and 29 April and immediately he gets bail. first on medical grounds then pardon.

Singhvi: Natural justice and Article 21… Nothing has changed since magna carta. Your job is to find the truth. you can’t say I have something in your favour but I will not give it to you.

Singhvi: Reddy is then arrest on 10 November. There are total 9 statements from him. 7 before arrest and 2 under arrest. This is ridiculous. the prosecution is saying till you give me statement against Kejriwal, I will keep recording statement. This is totally concealed. Is this fair?

Singhvi: There is a specific query to Sarath Reddy with respect to me and he specifically denies it.

ASG: I have objection. When we have not filed prosecution complaint against him where is the question of concealment? Singhvi: I will make several wrong arguments.

Singhvi: The third fellow is Sarath Reddy. In his first statement there is nothing against me. It is hidden by the ED. Even in next statement there is nothing against me.

Singhvi: This statement of Magunta Reddy is also contrary to his earlier statements. This father has now joined the alliance part of the ruling party.

Singhvi now refers to statement of Raghav Magunta’s father.

Singhvi: He then makes a statement against me and is granted bail 10 days later. This is making absolute joke of criminal law.

Singhvi refers to statements of Raghav Magunta.

Singhvi: Magunta makes four statements. In three statements, there are no allegations against me. These are not even brought to the notice and simply kept in un-relied documents. It is completely unfair and contrary to criminal law procedure.

Singhvi: This is a completely biased approach. They are turning the criminal law on its head.

Singhvi: One of them gives donation through electoral bond to ruling party. Mr Magunta did that.

Singhvi: First, in several statements, there will be nothing against me. First is Raghav Reddy, Magunta Reddy and Sarath Reddy. Step 2: some of them are arrested. Step 3: first time they give statement against me. Step 4: they get bail by recording no objection from ED (an account) of, remarkably, back pain. Step 5: They are candidate for ruling party in the election.

Singhvi: My next point is this whole very, very unfortunate system of completely turning the criminal law on its head.

Singhvi: Today I found an extraordinary point through press reports and their counter that “because Kejriwal himself has said because he does not challenge the custody before the trial court, the prior petition before the High Court is rendered infructuous.” It is extraordinary plea, a plea unheard of in law.

Singhvi again refers to Pankaj Bansal judgement.

Court: You want to read the judgement?

Singhvi: Yes.

Singhvi: The application of ED itself says that we need to find, one and quarter year later after the FIR and six months after the first summons, the role of Mr Kejriwal.

ASG: The issue is that a wrong copy has been supplied to us which should not have been done.

Singhvi: Your junior picked up a wrong copy and gave it to you.

Court: Please tell him (ASG) the correct page number.

Court: There is 8 page difference in the two copies.

Singhvi: One copy was with defects. He was served with the fresh copy.

ASG: It is wrong paginated copy. How do I reply? Don’t oversimplify the things.

ASG says the matter may be kept tomorrow because he has not been handed over the correct copy of the petition.

Singhvi: This can’t be the ground for arrest.

Singhvi: Their remand application says they want to find in future, the Chief Minister’s role in the entire conspiracy.. In future!

Singhvi: The other part of necessity to arrest is, is this man a flight risk? What can he do to affect the witnesses one and half year later? You have already recorded the statement. There are thousands of pages of documents. Third is cooperation. Which part of cooperation I am not doing?

Singhvi: Each of my 7-8 replies to the ED summons are very detailed. I have given my replies without any questionnaire. There is nothing that cannot be done this way so there is no necessity to arrest.

Singhvi: The only object is to humiliate and insult. The true object of the arrest is to disable me.

Singhvi: Apart from the fact that your necessity to arrest is occassioned by completely ulterior motives… There is an old saying – “If I am, I can do anything.” Just because you have power to arrest, the test is not “can arrest.” The test is “should arrest” test.

Singhvi: Because the condition of bail is so high, that is why the test of arrest is even higher and difficult. The threshold is not normal. There is the necessity to arrest test in Section 19.

Singhvi: The necessity, rationale or imminence of requirement to arrest – please ask these questions to the ED again and again.

Singhvi: Now comes my third point. My not responding to summons is red herring. I respond in writing every time. The red herring that ‘I sent you summons so many times’ is no answer to saying ‘I have no material to arrest.’

Singhvi: It is the inquiry which enables ED to make up their mind to some extent to arrest and prosecution etc. Please remember that there was no attempt to record Section 50 statement even at my residence. This is the second point, the unique feature of the case.

Singhvi: There is zero Section 50 material. And because there is zero section 50 material, there is zero Section 19 PMLA material.

Singhvi: The first summon is October 2023. The 9th summon to me is 16 March, 2024. Six months or so have passed. You are clearly doing an arrest without any inquiry, statement, material which can form the basis of arrest. It is unique that there is nothing under Section 50 at all.

Singhvi: The unique feature of this case is that there is no material in any manner under Section 50 PMLA.

Singhvi: I am not talking politics but law. The timing of arrest here suggest a clear unconstitutional object.

Singhvi: Why I say this? Because the first summons is from October 2023 and the arrest comes on March 21. It reeks of mala fide and damage to basic structure and level playing field.

Singhvi: The timing of the arrest ensures that Mr Kejriwal is unable to participate in democratic activity. The effort is to try and disintegrate his party before even the first vote is cast.

Singhvi: Keep in mind the importance of case in terms of level playing field. that’s the first point. It is not just a phrase of word. It has three components which are vital. It is part of free and fair elections which in turn is part of democracy which in turn is part of the basic structure.

Singhvi: Your lordship had heard the list of dates in detail. I want to make 7-8 points.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appears for Kejriwal. Senior Advocate Vikram Chaudhari also appearing for Kejriwal.

ASG SV Raju for ED.

The Delhi High Court is hearing a plea by Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal who has challenged his March 21 arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and subsequent remand in connection with the Delhi excise policy case.

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma is hearing the matter.

Kejriwal was arrested on March 21, hours after his plea for interim protection from arrest was rejected by the Delhi High Court.

He was produced for remand before a trial court in Delhi on March 22, when the ED contended that he was the “key conspirator” in the alleged money laundering involved in the framing of the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy.

Kejriwal, meanwhile, has accused the ED of running an extortion racket, while maintaining his innocence.

He was initially remanded to ED custody till March 28, which was later extended by four more days. Thereafter, the Court sent him to judicial custody till April 15.

Meanwhile, he challenged his arrest and remand before the High Court, which asked the ED to respond by April 2 before posting the case for further hearing today.

Live updates from the hearing today feature here.


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