[Kejriwal Arrest] “ED came with clean hands, attempt to create prejudice averted”: Solicitor General in SC

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The SG has maintained that any attempt to show the central agency in a prejudiced light were thwarted

Amid the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal by Enforcement Directorate officials late last evening, courts stood witness to the tug of war between the Chief Minister’s battery of lawyers and the Central agency.

Before a bench led by Justice Sanjiv Khanna, the plea by Kejriwal was withdrawn by his counsel, senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, citing the reasons of “clash” between remand proceedings at Rouse Avenue court and his writ petition before the Apex court.

At this juncture, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta pointed out that the Enforcement Directorate was on a caveat, yet no intimation for a mentioning in Kejriwal’s petition was communicated to the counsel regarding any mentioning or proceedings in the subject matter.

The SG pointed out that the ED had been advised not to move remand application before the subordinate court till Supreme Court was seized of the writ concerning the same issue. Thus, effectively, no question of a clash of the hearings was possible.

“I had advised the ED not to do anything till the SC is seized of the matter,” the SG pointed out, clarifying that an attempt was being made to make ED appear prejudiced against the accused and that it was overreaching the powers of the top court. 
SG has also stated that it was necessary that he brought the clarification before the Supreme Court so that no wrong impression was conveyed about the central agency.

“In fact, the ED produced Shri Kejriwal before the Special Bench, only after his petition was withdrawn in the Supreme Court,” the senior law officer said.

The much anticipated hearing before Supreme Court thus came to an end, with focus shifting to the Rouse Avenue court, before a bench of Judge Kavita Baweja, where arguments were made for three straight hours. While the ED has pressed for remand for 10 days, the defence has said that there is no need to keep the CM under custody.

 Kejriwal's arrest by the ED followed a late-night search at his residence after he was denied interim protection by the Delhi High Court. Arguments today centered around the ED trying to establish his connection which allegedly runs deep in the Delhi liquor policy scam. On the other hand, Kejriwal’s counsel have told court that the arrest is being carried out to thwart elections against him, which are just a few days away.

The case involves allegations of corruption and money laundering in the formulation and execution of Delhi's excise policy for 2021-22, which was later scrapped. 
Meanwhile, outside Kejriwal's residence, a crowd gathered, including AAP MLAs and party leaders, protesting the ED's actions. AAP leaders criticized the BJP and ED, alleging political conspiracy and misuse of power to target Kejriwal.

Various persons from the BJP have maintained that the central agency works according to the law of the land and evasion of summons by Kejriwal nine times on one pretext or another were bound to backfire, thus resulting in his arrest.