Supreme Court reserves verdict on Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s plea challenging ED arrest in excise policy case

Mr. Arvind Kejriwal is currently out of jail on interim bail till June 1 to campaign for the ongoing Lok Sabha polls

Updated - May 17, 2024 11:04 pm IST

Published - May 17, 2024 11:12 am IST

Delhi Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

The Supreme Court on May 17 reserved its verdict on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s petition challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Delhi excise policy case

A Bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta clarified that Mr. Kejriwal would be at liberty to apply for bail from the trial Court in the meantime. The central agency was also ordered to produce records to show what new evidence has emerged since the arrest of former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia that necessitated the arrest of the AAP supremo on March 21. 

Also Read: Arvind Kejriwal asked for ₹100 crore as kickbacks, Enforcement Directorate tells Supreme Court

The top Court earlier granted interim bail to Mr. Kejriwal till June 1 to enable him to campaign in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls. In the last hearing, the ED apprised the Court that a complaint against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is in the pipeline and that there is direct evidence of its national convenor Mr. Kejriwal “demanding” ₹100 crore as kickbacks in the case. 

Earlier on April 9, the Delhi High Court had upheld Mr. Kejriwal’s arrest by recording a prima facie finding that there was adequate material, including statements of approvers, involvement of middlemen and references that cash was handed over for expenditure in the 2022 Goa elections. 

Also Read: ED says Kejriwal sees himself as a special person, accuses him of remarks ‘slapping the system’

In another notable development, the top Court has decided that on May 21, it will hear a plea by former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren for interim bail to campaign in the ongoing Lok Sabha election. Jharkhand is scheduled to go to the polls on May 20, May 25, and June 1. 

Follow for live updates:
  • May 17, 2024 17:05
    SC reserves judgment on Delhi CM’s plea challenging his ED arrest in the excise policy case

    A Bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta reserves judgment on Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s plea challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case stemming from the alleged Delhi excise policy scam

    “Notwithstanding the same, and without prejudice to rights and contentions, appellant can move the trial court for grant of bail in accordance with law. Parties may file additional notes and documents within 1 week”, the Bench records in the order. 

    New Delhi, Apr 14 (ANI): A view of the Supreme Court in New Delhi on Sunday. (ANI Photo/Ishant)

  • May 17, 2024 16:58
    SC asks ED to produce files on the case and statements of co-accused persons recorded before Kejriwal’s arrest

    Justice Khanna asks the ED to produce files on the case and statements recorded after the Supreme Court’s Manish Sisodia judgment and before Kejriwal’s arrest. 

  • May 17, 2024 16:55
    Did you visit Goa during the elections? Justice Datta asks Singhvi

    Justice Datta asks Singhvi – “Did you visit Goa during the elections?”

    Singhvi: “It was my party. I had to campaign there.”

    Justice Datta asks in jest – “Did you stay in that (seven-star) hotel in Goa?” [The ED has alleged that Mr. Kejriwal stayed in a seven-star hotel during the Goa Assembly elections.] 

  • May 17, 2024 16:54
    Why was the ED suppressing all this information till date? Singhvi asks

    ED says that it has evidence of chats between Mr. Kejriwal and the hawala operators. 

    In response, Singhvi says – “Why was ED suppressing this information till date? Life and liberty are sacrosanct.”

    Also Read: The legal issues surrounding Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest | Explained

  • May 17, 2024 16:40
    ED lawyers object to Mr. Singhvi’s submissions, says he is ‘wrong’

    ASG Raju objects again and says that every submission made by Mr. Singhvi is wrong.

    Solicitor General Tushar Mehta says Singhvi is being “economical with the truth”. 

  • May 17, 2024 16:30
    Justice Khanna confronts Mr. Singhvi with ED’s arguments

    Justice Khanna confronts Mr. Singhvi with the ED’s arguments and says – “There was a change in the liquor policy. Middlemen got a huge cut of 5% to 6%. The background for the change was ₹ 100 crore.”

    In response, Singhvi says, “There is nothing to show that the money came to me and then left for Goa.” ASG Raju claims that this assertion is wrong ‘left and right’. 

  • May 17, 2024 16:28
    Mere filing of chargesheet would not validate the illegality of arrest, Kejriwal’s lawyer argues

    Singhvi refers to the Supreme Court’s recent verdict quashing the arrest of NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha. He reads from the verdict – “Mere fact that a charge sheet has been filed in the matter, would not validate the illegality and the unconstitutionality committed at the time of arresting the accused and the grant of initial police custody remand to the accused.” 

    Also Read: Why was NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha’s arrest invalidated by the top Court? | Explained

  • May 17, 2024 16:26
    Every evidence the IO has predates August 2023, the “necessity of arrest” under Section 19 PMLA not met: Singhvi

    Singhvi submits that the investigating officer (IO) has to show the “necessity of arrest” under Section 19 of the PMLA (procedure for arrest). 

    “He (IO) has to apply his mind on four factors - Why arrest; Is arrest really required; What is the purpose of the arrest; What is the objective the arrest would achieve? Application of mind to the four factors should show in the grounds of arrest”, he asserts. 

    The senior counsel submits that in Kejriwal’s case, every material that the IO has predates August 2023. 

    The Supreme Court had ordered Arvind Kejriwal to surrender on June 2.

  • May 17, 2024 16:09
    Investigating officer has to ‘apply his mind’ to both omitted and considered evidence, Singhvi argues

    “The IO (investigating officer) had to apply his mind on both omitted and considered matters before arresting an accused. The fact that he had considered both factors should be manifested in the arrest memo. He cannot come before the accused with the inscrutable face of an Egyptian sphinx and arrest him”, Singhvi says. 

  • May 17, 2024 16:00
    Not an iota of evidence mentioned in the “grounds of arrest”, Kejriwal’s lawyer argues

    Justice Khanna tells Singhvi that now ED says it has a money trail from Andhra Pradesh to Goa for campaigning. 

    In response, Singhvi says – “But there is not even an iota of evidence in the grounds of arrest”. 

  • May 17, 2024 15:57
    Why was Kejriwal arrested in March 2024 when the allegation of receiving ₹100 crore as kickbacks dates back to August 2023? : Singhvi argues

    “The allegation of ₹100 crore (as kickbacks) dates back to a statement made in August 2023. Why was Kejriwal arrested in March 2024?”, Singhvi argues. 

  • May 17, 2024 15:54
    ‘Zero weight’ given to 9 exculpatory statements favouring the accused, Kejriwal’s lawyer argues

    Singhvi argues that approvers cracked under extreme pressure from the ED. While there is one inculpatory statement, there are 9 exculpatory statements favouring the accused to which the ED has given “zero weight”, he says. He adds that there are multiple statements from co-accused persons confirming there is no link between Mr. Kejriwal and the liquor lobby. 

  • May 17, 2024 15:44
    Senior advocate AM Singhvi begins rejoinder submissions for the Delhi CM

    Senior advocate AM Singhvi begins rejoinder submissions on behalf of the Delhi CM. Justice Khanna asks Mr. Singhvi to address the Court on the facts of the case for at least 15 mins. 

  • May 17, 2024 15:41
    Are you not changing the language of the statute? Justice Datta asks ED

    Justice Datta reiterates that under Section 19 of the PMLA, the ED should have “reasons to believe” that a person is guilty of a PMLA offence to arrest him. 

    “But you are saying IO (investigating officer) needs to only have “reasons to suspect” that a person is guilty of a PMLA offence to arrest him. Are you not changing the language of the statute?”, he adds. 

  • May 17, 2024 15:36
    Entertaining this plea at this stage will open ‘floodgates’, ED lawyer says

    Urging the Court to not quash the Delhi CM’s arrest at this stage, ASG Raju argues – “Entertaining this petition to quash the arrest will open the floodgates. In a later stage of bail, the Magistrate has to go through the entire evidence and come to a prima facie conclusion whether the accused is guilty or innocent”. 

  • May 17, 2024 15:33
    SC says that the investigating officer should arrest only if he has sufficient material to prove guilt

    Justice Khanna says that the investigating officer should arrest only if he has sufficient material to prove guilt. That is the threshold, he adds. 

  • May 17, 2024 15:26
    Has the SC not distinguished between “reasons to believe” and “grounds of arrest”?: Justice Khanna asks ED

    ASG Raju says that the ED has not specified “reasons to believe” as mandated under Section 19 of the PMLA (procedure for arrest) but has only outlined the “grounds for arrest” in the prosecution complaint. He says that laundered money was sent through hawala operators. 

    Referring to the Supreme Court’s recent verdict quashing the arrest of NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha, Justice Khanna asks – “There is a judgment by Justices Gavai and Mehta...did it draw a distinction between reasons to believe and grounds of arrest?”

    [In the Prabir Purkayastha v. State of NCT of Delhi judgment, the Court had differentiated between the meaning of the terms ‘reasons of arrest’ and ‘grounds of arrest.’ While the former relates to general parameters based on which a person had to be arrested, the latter requires the police to list out specific facts necessitating the arrest of the individual concerned, so that he/she could effectively oppose the plea for remand or seek bail, it said.]

    Also Read: Why was NewsClick founder Prabir Purkayastha’s arrest invalidated by the top Court? | Explained

  • May 17, 2024 15:16
    Complaint being filed today impleading AAP as an accused in the Delhi excise policy case, the ED says

    ASG SV Raju apprises the Court that the ED is filing a new complaint today impleading the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as an accused in the Delhi excise policy case. 

  • May 17, 2024 15:05
    SC hears Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s plea challenging ED arrest in the Delhi excise policy case

    A Bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta is hearing Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s plea challenging his arrest by the ED in the Delhi excise policy case. 

    Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju is appearing for the central agency. 

    Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal gestures as he speaks during a press conference at the Aam Admi Party office after India's Supreme Court gave temporary bail to the AAP national convenor in a liquor policy case, in New Delhi, India, May 11, 2024. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis REFILE - CORRECTING "CONVEYOR" TO "CONVENOR"

  • May 17, 2024 14:31
    Soren’s plea for interim bail listed before vacation bench on May 21

    Justice Khanna says that the court has to be prima facie satisfied before giving any relief. He lists Mr. Soren’s plea before a vacation Bench on May 21. ED asked to file a short reply by May 20. 

    “We just want to be heard, My Lord”, Mr. Sibal says. 

    The hearing concludes. 

  • May 17, 2024 14:29
    How can a bail application be kept pending like this? Sibal argues

    In response, Mr. Sibal says – “The court is on holiday for two months. How can a bail application be kept pending like this?” 

    Sibal is keen to argue. Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, ED, asks how he can expected to make submissions without preparation. 

  • May 17, 2024 14:26
    ED seeks time to file a response, opposes grant of interim bail to Mr. Soren

    Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju appearing for the ED says that the central agency needs time to file a response. 

    Addressing Mr. Sibal, Justice Khanna says – “That’s why we asked whether you (Mr. Soren) is in possession of the land. They (ED) have found a person on the land who says it is your land. There is a boundary land. There are photographs of the land connecting the land with Mr. Soren. As soon as the probe began, somebody came up and said the land was his.”

    The judge further asks – “What about regular bail?” 

  • May 17, 2024 14:21
    ED should show evidence linking Mr. Soren to the land involved in the alleged scam, Sibal argues

    Justice Khanna says that Mr. Soren has sought interim bail due to the ongoing Lok Sabha elections and that he will surrender on June 2. 

    Senior advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for the former CM says that the ED should explain how the land involved in the scam constitutes “proceeds of crime”. 

    “Show the evidence”, he adds. 

  • May 17, 2024 14:17
    SC hears former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren’s plea

    The Bench has taken up former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren’s plea challenging his arrest by the ED in a money laundering investigation linked to a land scam

    The Supreme Court had ordered Arvind Kejriwal to surrender on June 2.

  • May 17, 2024 14:14
    “I was not given medicines in jail despite my request,” says Arvind Kejriwal

    While addressing party workers in Punjab’s Amritsar Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Admi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal launched a scathing attack against the Bharatiya Janata Party saying that they got him arrested thinking that his party would break but the opposite happened.

    Kejriwal said, “They arrested me thinking that our party would break but nothing happened and we got even more united.”

    The Delhi CM further said that he was deprived of his sugar medicines. “I was not provided with insulin dose despite request. I don’t know about their intentions but it has happened in the past that the opposition leaders have been physically harmed across the world in similar ways.”

    He highlighted that there is a provision that allows two people to meet inside the jail, adding to that, he said, “Even despite of letter by Punjab CM Mann, they did not allow it. He used to talk to me from outside the jail cell.”

    -ANI

  • May 17, 2024 13:18
    ‘Dictatorship’ going on in country is unacceptable: Kejriwal

    Attacking the BJP, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said the “dictatorship” allegedly going on in the country is unacceptable and the nation has never seen such a period in the past 75 years.

    “The dictatorship that is going on in our country is not acceptable. India has never seen such a period in the past 75 years, putting opposition leaders in jail,” said Kejriwal.

    “They put me in jail, (former Delhi deputy CM) Manish Sisodia was put in jail, Congress party’s bank account was attached, (they) are troubling TMC, (Tamil Nadu CM MK) Stalin’s ministers have been put in jail.”

    “Put everyone in jail. Then only one party and one leader will remain but democracy will not survive. We do not have to let this happen,” said Kejriwal.

    -PTI

  • May 17, 2024 12:21
    Centre misusing power to harass Opposition parties, says Kalpana Soren

    Centre misusing power to harass Opposition parties, says Kalpana Soren

    JMM leader Kalpana Soren accuses BJP of misusing power to harass Opposition, calls for ousting PM Modi.

  • May 17, 2024 11:30
    Supreme Court to hear Arvind Kejriwal, Hemant Soren’s pleas against ED arrest

    A Bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta will hear pleas by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren challenging their arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

    Mr. Kejriwal’s plea will be heard at 2:30 pm while Mr. Soren’s plea is listed as item number 44. 

    The Supreme Court had ordered Arvind Kejriwal to surrender on June 2.

  • May 17, 2024 11:27
    Supreme Court disposes Hemant Soren’s plea against High Court’s delay pronouncing order

    The Supreme Court on May 10 disposed off former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren’s plea over the High Court’s delay in pronouncing order on his petition challenging his arrest, noting that the petition has become infructuous because the order has been delivered. A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta said that Hemant Soren’s plea over delay in pronouncing order on the former Jharkhand Chief Minister plea challenging arrest has become infructuous.

    The apex court noted that Jharkhand High Court has recently delivered order on Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Soren’s plea and rejected the petition challenging his arrest in the money laundering case.

    Read more here.

    Supreme Court disposes Hemant Soren's plea against High Court's delay pronouncing order

    Supreme Court disposes of Hemant Soren's plea challenging arrest delay, noting Jharkhand High Court's rejection of petition.

  • May 17, 2024 11:24
    What did the ED argue during the last hearing before the Supreme Court?

    Read The Hindu’s live coverage of the Supreme Court’s proceedings on the Delhi CM’s plea challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in the Delhi Excise policy case. 

    Arvind Kejriwal’s Plea against ED LIVE Updates: AAP to be made an accused in the Delhi excise policy case, ED tells SC

    Arvind Kejriwal hearing LIVE news: The Supreme Court is hearing Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s plea challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case stemming from the alleged Delhi excise policy scam.

  • May 17, 2024 11:22
    SC grants interim bail to Kejriwal till June 1; bars him from visiting CMO or sign any official files

    The Supreme Court on May 10 granted interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the liquor policy case till June 1, 2024 to campaign for the Lok Sabha elections.

    “There is no gain saying that General Elections to Lok Sabha is the most significant and an important event this year, as it should be in a national election year. Between 650-700 million voters out of an electorate of about 970 million will cast their votes to elect the government of this country for the next five years. General Elections supply the vis viva to a democracy,” a Bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta observed in its order.

    Read more here

    SC grants interim bail to Kejriwal till June 1; bars him from visiting CMO or sign any official files

    The Bench refused the request of senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for Mr. Kejriwal, that the interim bail be granted till June 5 - a day after the votes are counted on June 4.

  • May 17, 2024 11:18
    Watch | Hemant Soren arrested by ED | All you need to know

    Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Hemant Soren stepped down as the Chief Minister of Jharkhand on Wednesday moments before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested him on allegations of money laundering. Mr. Soren faces charges of benefiting from tribal land transactions based on forged documents.

    Watch here

  • May 17, 2024 11:17
    SC denies Soren’s plea for interim bail, but agrees to hear his challenge to arrest by the ED on May 17

    The Supreme Court refused interim bail on May 13 for former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren to campaign for the Lok Sabha election, but agreed to list his plea to quash his arrest by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) in connection with a money laundering investigation linked to a land scam.

    A Bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta, the same two-judge combination that had granted interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on May 10, refused point blank Mr. Soren’s lawyer, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, when he asked for liberty to come out and canvas for votes in the ongoing general election.

    Read more here

    Hemant Soren Bail Plea: Supreme Court rejects interim bail plea for Soren; next hearing on May 17

    The Supreme Court on May 13 dismissed a plea requesting the release of former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on interim bail for elections. The court agreed to list the matter on May 17, but expressed doubts about being able to hear it as the case list is choc-a-bloc.

  • May 17, 2024 11:15
    ED says Kejriwal sees himself as a special person, accuses him of remarks ‘slapping the system’

    The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) on Thursday accused Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of making public utterances, which amounted to a “slap on the system”, on the very first day after he came out on interim bail granted to him by the Supreme Court in the liquor policy case for campaigning in the Lok Sabha elections.

    Read more here

  • May 17, 2024 11:14
    Arvind Kejriwal asked for ₹100 crore as kickbacks, Enforcement Directorate tells Supreme Court

    The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) told the Supreme Court on May 16 that a complaint against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is in the pipeline and there is direct evidence of its national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal “demanding” ₹100 crore as kickbacks in the liquor policy case.

    Appearing before a Bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta, Additional Solicitor-General S.V. Raju, for the ED, said it could even attach an equivalent of the alleged proceeds of crime. The ED said it was not driven by political motives to arrest Mr. Kejriwal on March 21.

    Read more here

    Arvind Kejriwal asked for ₹100 crore as kickbacks, Enforcement Directorate tells Supreme Court

    ED informs Supreme Court of complaint against AAP, alleging Kejriwal demanded ₹100 crore kickbacks; court examines arrest under PMLA.

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