The ED had argued that the arrest and subsequent remand of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal were natural outcomes of painstaking collection of evidence.
| Photo Credit: –

The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) has countered objections raised by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the Supreme Court against his arrest in the excise policy case.

The Central agency said he did not cooperate with it despite multiple summonses to him.

The agency said he was arrested after the Delhi High Court had declined to grant him interim relief. The ED said it had evidence of his involvement, justifying his arrest.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) responded to the ED affidavit, saying the agency was acting as a tool of the ruling party at the Centre, the BJP.

“The ED has become nothing but a machine for telling lies. Each time ED comes up with new manufactured lies at the whims of their masters. Today, nobody in the country has any doubts that ED is a political wing of the BJP. The ED gets its directions from the BJP headquarters,” AAP said.

The party said the ED did not have a shred of evidence against Mr. Kejriwal. There was no money trail linked to him.

“The only money trail in the alleged Delhi liquor scam is ₹60 crore bribe from Sharath Reddy to BJP’s accounts, which the ED is not investigating,” AAP said.

The party said the sole motive behind the arrest was to prevent Mr. Kejriwal from participating in the Lok Sabha election campaigning.

“After phase 1 of the polls, the BJP is gripped by fear,” it countered.

Mr. Kejriwal’s plea against his arrest and remand is likely to come up for hearing before an apex court Bench headed by Justice Sanjiv Khanna in the week commencing April 29.

The ED had argued that the arrest and subsequent remand of Mr. Kejriwal were natural outcomes of painstaking collection of evidence.

The agency, represented by Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju, had earlier argued in the High Court that the procedure of arrest was correctly followed. Mr. Kejriwal had been furnished with the grounds of his arrest in writing, it said.

The agency had termed Mr. Kejriwal the kingpin and key conspirator of the Delhi excise “scam”.

The ED claimed he was involved in the conspiracy of formulation of the excise policy and had also engaged in demanding kickbacks from liquor businessmen in exchange of favours granted in the policy.

The agency had argued that Mr. Kejriwal was involved in the use of proceeds of crime generated in the Goa election campaign of AAP. He was the national convenor of the party and its “ultimate decision-maker”.

The ED also argued that Vijay Nair, on behalf of Mr. Kejriwal and AAP, received kickbacks to the tune of ₹100 crore from the “South Group”.

The “South Group” was represented by Abhishek Boinpally, Arun Pillai and Buchi Babu. Abhishek Boinpally facilitated the transfer of money in conspiracy with Vijay Nair and his associate Dinesh Arora, the ED had argued in the High Court.

The Central agency said the “South Group” members had got control of wholesaler business M/s Indo Spirits and even retail zones, got the business of Pernod Ricard and even got the L1 licence granted despite multiple complaints and being in violation of the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22.

As per the investigation done so far, the proceeds of crime of about ₹45 crore, which was part of the bribe received from “South Group”. The money was used in the election campaign of AAP in Goa in 2021-22. 

Source link