Arvind Kejriwal entitled to fair and impartial trial, says German Foreign Ministry

Mr. Kejriwal was arrested by the ED on Thursday in connection with the alleged Delhi excise policy scam

March 22, 2024 09:57 pm | Updated 10:01 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal in Rouse Avenue Court after he has been sent to ED custody till March 28 by the court.

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal in Rouse Avenue Court after he has been sent to ED custody till March 28 by the court. | Photo Credit: ANI

Germany on Friday became the first major global power to remind that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday has the right to a “fair and impartial trial.”

Mr. Kejriwal was arrested by the ED in a late evening operation on Thursday and is expected to remain in the agency’s custody for at least six more days. 

“We have taken note of the case. India is a democratic country. We assume and expect that the standards relating to the independence of the judiciary and basic democratic principles will also be applied in this case. Like anyone facing accusations, Mr. Kejriwal is entitled to a fair and impartial trial. This includes that he can make use of all available legal avenues without restriction,” the spokesperson of the German Foreign Ministry said while answering a question from the German media.  

Explaining the German position, the spokesperson further added, “The presumption of innocence is a central element of the rule of law and must apply to him.” 

Mr. Kejriwal who came in national prominence with his anti-corruption movement of 2010-’11 . He led the minority government of Delhi which took charge on 28 December, 2013. However, the first Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi resigned after it failed to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill in February 2014. In the first week of February 2014, Mr. Kejriwal had met the visiting German President Joachim Gauck. 

Germany which has been campaigning for teaching German language and literature in Indian educational institutions found a partner in the Delhi Board of School Education (DBSE) when the AAP government of Mr. Kejriwal signed an agreement with the Goethe-Institut in 2022. That agreement, which opened Delhi-government run schools to German language learning, was signed by the the then German Ambassador Walter J. Lindner and the then Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia. “Learning a global language is not just the acquisition of a skill but also an association with the culture of a particular country. This partnership with Goethe-Institut Max Mueller Bhavan will open many new jobs as well as academic opportunities for students of Delhi government schools in future,” Mr. Sisodia had said on the occasion. Mr. Sisodia was arrested on February 26, 2023, in the so called ‘Delhi excise policy scam’ and has remained in jail since then. 

Apart from German, French and Japanese are two other foreign languages that are taught in a number of Delhi government run schools under the AAP government. In 2022, newly elected AAP Chief Minister of Punjab Bhagwant Mann had visited Germany as part of investment promotion campaign of the State government. 

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