Delhi HC to hear Kejriwal’s arrest plea on Wed

Kejriwal, who is also the convenor of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), has been in ED custody and is slated to remain so until March 28

| Updated: 26 March, 2024 6:05 pm IST
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court is set to hear a plea by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday, challenging his detention by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the Delhi excise policy case. The hearing will be presided over by Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma.

Kejriwal, who is also the convenor of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), has been in ED custody and is slated to remain so until March 28. Despite his arrest, Kejriwal has continued to govern, as evidenced by his recent directives from custody ensuring the availability of medicines and diagnostic tests across government hospitals and Mohalla Clinics. This was confirmed by Delhi’s Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj, who highlighted Kejriwal’s focus on the welfare of Delhi’s citizens.

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AAP members and supporters demonstrated on Tuesday, protesting the arrest of Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. A number of them were apprehended at Patel Chowk during their march to the prime minister’s residence on Lok Kalyan Marg, chanting “Long live the revolution” and “Long live Kejriwal”.

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Gopal Rai, the AAP’s Delhi unit convener, expressed at a press conference that the extensive enforcement of section 144 by the BJP-led central government has effectively transformed the national capital into an impregnable stronghold, likening the situation to a “police state”.

The case at the centre of these events involves allegations of irregularities and money laundering during the formulation and execution of the Delhi excise policy in 2022, a policy that has since been revoked.

Kejriwal’s arrest marks him as the third AAP leader to be apprehended in the excise policy case, following Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh. Sisodia, who previously served as the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi and managed a significant portion of the government’s portfolios, was taken into custody by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on February 26 of the preceding year after extensive interrogation.

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His legal troubles compounded when the ED arrested him in a subsequent money laundering case. Sanjay Singh, an AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP, was also arrested by the ED on October 5 of the previous year.

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