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Delhi HC reserves its verdict on CM Kejriwal’s plea challenging arrest

New Delhi, April 3: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s plea challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the excise policy case.

A bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma reserved judgment after hearing arguments of senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Kejriwal, and Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju, representing the ED.

During the hearing, Singhvi submitted that the arrest of the AAP national convenor immediately after the imposition of the model code of conduct (MCC) was to prevent his participation in democratic activities and disable his political party.

There is no material to show the proceeds of the crime are with Kejriwal, he added.

On the other hand, ASG Raju said that the ED investigation is at a nascent stage and prayed for rejection of the petition filed by Kejriwal saying that it would be a bogus argument if an accused person involved in politics should not be arrested during election time.

“Suppose a political person commits murder two days before elections, this means he can’t be arrested? Criminals are supposed to be arrested and put in jail,” he said.

The ED has termed Chief Minister Kejriwal the “kingpin and the key conspirator” of the alleged excise policy scam in collusion with other ministers of the Delhi government, AAP leaders, and other persons.

In his plea, Kejriwal contended that his arrest and the remand order passed by a trial court were illegal and that he was entitled to be released from custody immediately. The ED arrested Kejriwal on March 21 after questioning him for over two hours at his official residence in Delhi. Earlier, the Delhi High Court had refused to grant any interim relief observing that while deciding a case, it is duty-bound to hear both sides fairly, keeping in mind the principles of natural justice.

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