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ED’s ‘Arvind Kejriwal is kingpin’ reply ahead of Delhi high court hearing today | 10 points

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was the “kingpin” and the “key conspirator” of the “excise scam” and there were “reasons to believe” based on material in its possession that he was guilty of the offence of money laundering, the Enforcement Directorate told the Delhi high court on Tuesday. The ED submitted the lengthy reply in response to Arvind Kejriwal’s petition challenging his arrest by the agency in the money laundering case linked to the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy.

Enforcement Directorate team leaves with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal from ED office to Rouse Avenue Court in New Delhi on April 1, 2024. (Arvind Yadav/ Hindustan Times)

On Wednesday, April 3, the Delhi high court will hear the Aam Aadmi Party national convenor’s petition challenging his arrest. The plea is listed for hearing before Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma.

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Top updates on Arvind Kejriwal’s hearing in Delhi high court:

1. In its reply, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) told the Delhi high court that the AAP, which was the “major beneficiary” of the proceeds of the crime, has committed the offence through Arvind Kejriwal.

2. “Sh Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of NCT of Delhi, is the kingpin and key conspirator of the Delhi Excise Scam in collusion with Ministers of Delhi Govt, AAP leaders and other persons.. Sh Arvind Kejriwal was directly involved in the formulation of the Excise Policy 2021-22,” the ED said.

3. “This policy was being drafted considering the favours to be granted to the South Group and was formed in collusion with Sh Vijay Nair, Sh Manish Sisodia and members representatives of the South Group,” said the probe agency said in response.

4. The ED added that the AAP has committed the offence of money laundering through Arvind Kejriwal and the offences thus are covered by section 70, PMLA 2002.

5. “The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is the major beneficiary of the proceeds of crime generated in the Delhi Liquor Scam. Sh Arvind Kejriwal was and is not only the brain behind the AAP but also controls its major activities, he was also one of the founding members and was also involved in the decision making of the policy as evident from the statements of the witnesses,” the federal probe agency claimed.

6. On March 27, the high court had refused to grant interim relief to Arvind Kejriwal, stating the matter raised important issues that cannot be “summarily” decided without seeking the agency’s stand and had asked the ED to file its reply to the challenge to his arrest and the subsequent remand to the ED’s custody.

7. The probe agency said the Delhi chief minister cannot be released as an interim measure in the present proceedings when the arrest as well as the remand was according to the procedural requirements under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) as well the Constitution of India. The grounds for his arrest were informed and furnished to Arvind Kejriwal in writing, the ED added.

8. Responding to statements given by MP Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy and co-accused-turned-approvers Raghav Magunta and Sarath Reddy, the ED alleged that the AAP leader “demanded kickbacks from the South Group in exchange for awarding favours to them in the formulation and implementation of the Excise Policy 2021-22”.

9. Arvind Kejriwal, who was arrested on March 21, has sought his release on the ground that the arrest was illegal.

10. The case pertains to the alleged corruption and money laundering in formulating and executing the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22 which was later scrapped.

(With inputs from PTI)

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