Supreme Court to ED during Arvind Kejriwal hearing: 'Why probe took 2 years'

The Supreme Court on Tuesday commenced a hearing on jailed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's petition challenging his March 21 arrest by the Enforcement Directorate linked to the liquor policy case.
Supreme Court to ED during Arvind Kejriwal hearing: 'Why probe took 2 years'
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

The Supreme Court on Tuesday commenced a hearing on jailed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's petition challenging his March 21 arrest by the Enforcement Directorate linked to the liquor policy case. The top court asked Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, representing the ED on the delay to question and probe the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo.

A two-judge bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta are hearing the matter.

Tuesday's hearing came days after the Supreme Court on May 3 indicated that it may decide to grant interim bail to Kejriwal because of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

Also Read
Fresh clashes in Bengal as India votes in Round 3 of Lok Sabha battle
Supreme Court to ED during Arvind Kejriwal hearing: 'Why probe took 2 years'

"When we began the investigation, our investigation was not directly against him (Kejriwal). His role came up during the investigation. That's why, in the beginning, not a single question was put regarding him. The investigation was not focused on him," SV Raju said.

To this, the bench replied, "This is an unusual case. Factually, there are no contradictions in the statements. They can't be presumed to be in favour of the petitioner."

"Why did you take so long, and why were the questions not asked? We take it that no question was asked about him. The only issue was why were you delaying?" it further queried.

The Additional Solicitor General said if he "started asking about Kejriwal at the outset, it would have been called malafide".

"It takes time to understand. We can't put it overnight. Things have to be confirmed."

The court also told SV Raju that it wanted to see the file before AAP leader Manish Sisodia was arrested and after the former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister was taken into custody.

"There is one prosecution complaint after Manish Sisodia's bail was rejected, Rs 1,100 crore attached," he said.

To this, the court asked, "Mr Raju, how did it become 1,100 crore in two years? You said the proceeds of crime were 100 crore earlier."

"It's because of the benefits of the policy," SV Raju replied, to which Justice Khanna said the "whole entire profit is not proceeds of crime".

The court also asked for the files before and after Kejriwal's arrest, as well as those of Sarath Reddy, the Hyderabad-based businessman who was arrested in November 2023 but later turned approver in the Delhi liquor policy case.

"We can show that Kejriwal demanded 100 crore. At the nascent stage, he was not the focus and the investigating agency (ED) was not looking at that. The role became clearer only when the investigation progressed," SV Raju said.

Arvind Kejriwal, who is currenly lodged at the Tihar Jail, approached the Supreme Court a day after his petition challenging his arrest and remand was rejected by the Delhi High Court on April 9.

The AAP national convenor's petition also states that his arrest was made "in a motivated manner" and was solely based on subsequent, contradictory and "highly belated statements of co-accused" who have now turned approvers.

It has sought his release and to declare the arrest "illegal".

Source: India Today

Stay connected to Jaano Junction on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Koo. Listen to our Podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

Related Stories

No stories found.
logo
Jaano Junction
www.jaanojunction.com