Remand for tracing money trail no ground for arrest: Kejriwal's counsel opposes ED's plea in excise policy case

 - Sakshi Post

New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) A Delhi court on Friday reserved its verdict on the ED’s application seeking Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal's 10-day remand in connection with the money laundering case related to the alleged excise policy scam.

CM Kejriwal was arrested after being questioned at his official residence for more than two hours, before being taken to the probe agency's office on APJ Abdul Kalam Road at 11 p.m. on Thursday.

The CM remained in the ED jail overnight before he was produced before the Rouse Avenue Court on Friday after a medical examination.

Senior Advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Vikram Chaudhary and Ramesh Gupta, appearing for CM Kejriwal, have moved an application for rejection of remand prayer.

As the ED argued that CM Kejriwal was the kingpin of the alleged excise policy scam and was directly involved in its implementation and giving favours to the 'South Group', Senior Advocate Singhvi questioned the "necessity" of arresting the leader.

He said, "I can understand that you need something of an immediate nature... the entire remand application is copy paste of grounds of arrest except for the last few paras."

On the ED saying that they need to trace the money trail, Singhvi argued, "The fact that you need to further trace the money trail is no ground for arrest. It can be a ground of questionnaire and it can be a ground for interrogation. You have the basic material, why should you want further custodial custody?"

“There is neither necessity nor need to arrest,” Singhvi said arguing that there was nothing to show that CM Kejriwal cannot give the information without arrest.

"It is the first time in the history of India that a sitting Chief Minister is arrested," he said.

Claiming that there is no direct evidence against the CM, Singhvi said, "Yesterday (Thursday) we were arguing in Delhi High Court. It was submitted that he was called in personal capacity. Today they are giving material in the so-called remand having all things, referring to party as company... In any case my point is as a person he has no role at all."

Seeking 10 days’ custody, Additional Solicitor General, SV Raju, who appeared for the ED with Special Counsel Zoheb Hossain, said that CM Kejriwal was non-cooperative in the investigation.

"We want to gather information and interrogate him," he said.

He contended that the CM "is involved in the use of proceeds of crime", and had demanded kickbacks from the South Group in exchange for favours to them.

The South Group in question includes accused persons from whom, the ED claimed, AAP leaders received kickbacks to the tune of Rs 100 crore, including Sarath Reddy, Raghav Magunta, and Magunta S Reddy.

Last week, Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC, K Kavitha, was allegedly held for being a part of this group.

"Proceeds of crime of about Rs 45 crore received from the South Group were used by Aam Aadmi Party in the Goa campaign in 2021-22," ASG Raju said, adding that proceeds of crime were not only the Rs 100 crore bribe but also the profits made by bribe payers.

“Aam Aadmi Party is a beneficiary but it doesn't exist individually. It is a company. Every person who is involved in the functioning of the company is responsible and shall be deemed to be guilty," he said.

Notably, CM Kejriwal was rushed out amid heavy security from the court after his BP fell mid-hearing.

Talking to the media present in the court, CM Kejriwal said, "My life is dedicated to the nation, if I stay outside the jail or inside it."

It was his first statement after his arrest by the ED.

A PIL has also been filed before the High Court seeking the removal of AAP National Convenor Kejriwal from the post of CM of Delhi.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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