Delhi Excise policy case | ED arrests Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

Fourth AAP leader to be arrested in money laundering case linked to Delhi’s scrapped excise policy; Delhi CM to be produced before special court as AAP moves Supreme Court to quash arrest

March 21, 2024 07:21 pm | Updated March 27, 2024 01:09 pm IST - New Delhi

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is escorted out of his residence after he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in New Delhi on March 21, 2024.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is escorted out of his residence after he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in New Delhi on March 21, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

 Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday evening, on charges of corruption and money laundering in the formulation and execution of the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22, which was later scrapped.

Explained | The controversy around the Delhi Excise policy

Mr. Kejriwal will be produced before a special court on Friday. The AAP said that it has moved the Supreme Court for quashing the arrest, and has asked for an urgent hearing.

Also read | Arvind Kejriwal arrest LIVE updates- March 27

Earlier in the day, the Delhi High Court declined to grant any immediate protection to Mr. Kejriwal from coercive action in the excise policy-linked money laundering case. The High Court posted the AAP leader’s application seeking protection for a further hearing on April 22, when Mr. Kejriwal’s main petition challenging the summons is scheduled for hearing. “We have heard both sides and we are not inclined at this stage [to grant protection],” the court said.

Evening arrest

ED officials, accompanied by Delhi policemen, turned up at Mr. Kejriwal’s official residence in the evening. As the news of ED action spread, State Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj rushed to the spot, but he was not allowed in.

Rapid Action Force and Central Reserve Police Force units were deployed outside the premises and the police also mounted surveillance in the area using drones, in anticipation of protests. Following a brief round of questioning, the agency arrested Mr. Kejriwal. Around 9:15 p.m., a protest broke out by AAP supporters, who shouted slogans against the BJP-led Union government. The Delhi police detained some of the protestors.

‘Cannot silence Kejriwal’

The senior AAP leadership said that the main purpose of the Delhi CM’s arrest ahead of the election was to stop the him from campaigning, and to stifle the voice of the Opposition. Senior party leader Atishi said that what Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP do not understand is that they will not be able to silence Mr. Kejriwal by using the ED.

“Arvind Kejriwal is not a person. Arvind Kejriwal is an idea. If you arrest one Arvind Kejriwal, thousands more will rise across the country to save democracy and the Constitution of India,” Ms. Atishi said, speaking outside his residence.

Multiple arrests

Mr. Kejriwal is the fourth Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader to have been arrested in the case, after former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Rajya Sabha Member Sanjay Singh and the former party’s communications in-charge Vijay Nair; while former Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendar Kumar Jain was arrested in another case.

Earlier this week, the ED had alleged that Bharat Rashtra Samithi legislator K. Kavitha, along with others, had conspired with the top AAP leaders, including Mr. Kejriwal and Mr. Sisodia, for getting favours in the formulation and implementation of the erstwhile Delhi excise policy. The AAP had refuted the charges, raising suspicion that a ground was being prepared to arrest the Chief Minister.

The ED had arrested Ms. Kavitha in Hyderabad on March 15 in the same case and took her into custody to record her statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. She, along with others, has been accused of being involved in paying ₹100 crore to the AAP leaders.

In the excise policy case, the agency has so far arrested 16 persons and attached assets worth ₹128.79 crore.

What was Delhi’s now-scrapped excise policy trying to do? | In Focus podcast

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.