Arvind Kejriwal to Supreme Court | ‘Arrest a classic case of assault on the Opposition’

Next Supreme Court hearing in Delhi CM’s appeal against arrest on April 29; in his response to the ED affidavit, Mr. Kejriwal accused the Centre of using the agency as a tool to crush its political opponents

April 27, 2024 06:24 pm | Updated 08:42 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Aam Admi Party supporters wait for jailed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s wife, who held a roadshow in New Delhi on April 27, 2024.

Aam Admi Party supporters wait for jailed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s wife, who held a roadshow in New Delhi on April 27, 2024. | Photo Credit: AP

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has told the Supreme Court that his arrest in the excise policy case is a “classic case” of assault mounted on the Opposition against the tenets of democracy, federalism, and fair elections.

A Bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta is scheduled to hear Mr. Kejriwal’s case against his arrest on April 29.

Mr. Kejriwal, in his rejoinder to a counter-affidavit filed by the Directorate of Enforcement’s (ED), accused the BJP-ruled Union government of using the agency as a tool to crush its competition in the electoral arena.

‘No money trail’

The Aam Aadmi Party has maintained that the real intention behind the arrest of its national convenor, Mr. Kejriwal, on March 21 was to prevent him from campaigning during the ongoing general election. The party had claimed that the ED had not uncovered even a shred of evidence against Mr. Kejriwal, adding that there was no money trail linked to him.

In its affidavit, the ED had submitted that arresting politicians who were “criminals” was not a blow to free and fair elections. Politicians who are criminals cannot enjoy immunity from arrest merely because they are required to campaign in the election, the ED had retorted in its 87-page affidavit.

“Treating a politician differently from an ordinary criminal in a matter of arrest would amount to arbitrary and irrational exercise of power of arrest which would violate the principle of equality enshrined under Article 14 of the Constitution,” the ED had reasoned.

‘Material evidence’

The Central agency had said that the arrest of Mr. Kejriwal was based on material evidence which indicated that the Chief Minister was guilty of money laundering.

It had added that Mr. Kejriwal avoided investigation, disobeyed nine summons, and was totally non-cooperative, giving evasive answers to simple, non-incriminating questions during his interrogation on the date of the search, leading to his arrest.

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