ED Arrests Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal In Excise Policy Case

ED Arrests Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal In Excise Policy Case
ED Arrests Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal In Excise Policy Case
ED Arrests Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal In Excise Policy Case

New Delhi, 22 March : Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, was apprehended by the Enforcement Directorate at his residence in Civil Lines on Thursday night. This action transpired shortly after the Delhi High Court declined to provide him with temporary respite from any coercive measures by the investigating body.

On Thursday evening, the Enforcement Directorate detained Arvind Kejriwal at his home in relation to the purported liquor policy scandal in Delhi. Subsequent to his apprehension, Kejriwal was transported to the Enforcement Directorate headquarters, where he is slated to remain overnight.

This development unfolded subsequent to the Delhi High Court’s denial of interim relief to the leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) regarding the summonses issued by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the liquor policy matter. Noteworthy is the fact that Kejriwal had received nine summonses from the investigative agency to participate in questioning pertaining to the ongoing inquiry, yet he declined to comply.

ED Arrests Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal In Excise Policy Case
ED Arrests Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal In Excise Policy Case

Following the court proceedings, a squad of Enforcement Directorate officials arrived at Kejriwal’s residence in Civil Lines. They conducted searches at his home and proceeded to interrogate the Chief Minister.

According to sources, the officials also seized the mobile phones belonging to Arvind Kejriwal and his family members.

Significant police presence and barricades surrounded the Chief Minister’s residence as AAP leaders and supporters assembled in protest. During the demonstration outside his home, AAP MLA Rakhi Birla was detained by law enforcement.

Subsequently, Kejriwal was transported to the Enforcement Directorate office via car after the investigative agency completed its search at his residence.

This marks the first instance of a sitting Chief Minister being arrested.

In the aftermath, AAP took action by petitioning the Supreme Court to annul Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest. Saurabh Bharadwaj, an AAP Minister, stated, “We have filed a petition in the Supreme Court and have requested an urgent hearing tonight.”

Sources indicate that the Supreme Court hearing is slated for Friday.

Officials confirmed that Arvind Kejriwal will appear before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Friday, where the Enforcement Directorate will request his custody for questioning.

Asserting Kejriwal’s status, AAP Minister Atishi affirmed, “He is and will remain the Chief Minister of Delhi.”

“We have consistently maintained that Arvind Kejriwal will govern from prison. He will continue to serve as the Chief Minister of Delhi. We have taken legal action in the Supreme Court. Our legal team is en route to the Supreme Court,” Atishi informed the media.

She also noted that there is no regulation preventing Kejriwal from governing while in custody.

What is Delhi Liquor Policy Case ?

The matter revolves around accusations of corruption and money laundering related to the development and implementation of the Delhi government’s excise policy for the fiscal year 2021-22, which was subsequently annulled.

Both the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have asserted that the excise policy devised by the Delhi government, concerning the allocation of liquor trading licenses, facilitated cartelization and favored specific dealers who purportedly offered bribes. AAP vehemently denies these allegations.

Following the scrapping of the policy, Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena recommended a CBI investigation into the irregularities observed during its formulation and execution.