Excise Case: Delhi HC Lists Kejriwal’s Plea Against ED Summons For Sept 9

Arvind Kejriwal

The Delhi High Court on Thursday has scheduled a hearing for September 9 regarding Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s petition. The petition challenges the Enforcement Directorate’s summonses related to an excise policy-linked money laundering investigation.

What Bench States?

A bench led by Justice Prathiba M. Singh granted Kejriwal four additional weeks to file a rejoinder to the ED’s reply. Kejriwal’s senior counsel requested more time, citing changes in circumstances and the need for a proper legal interview, which is pending in the high court.

The bench, also including Justice Amit Sharma, stated, “Let the rejoinder be filed in four weeks.” The ED’s counsel argued that the petition was moot after Kejriwal’s arrest by the agency on March 21, following the court’s refusal to grant interim protection from coercive action.

Initially, the court gave Kejriwal two weeks to file his rejoinder on April 22. This was extended by four weeks in May. Kejriwal approached the high court after receiving his ninth summons from the ED, which required him to appear on March 21. On March 20, the high court instructed the ED to respond regarding the petition’s maintainability and Kejriwal’s request for protection from arrest. The court did not grant interim relief, and Kejriwal was arrested later that day.

The trial court granted Kejriwal bail on June 20, but the high court stayed the bail order on June 25 after the ED challenged it. On June 26, the Central Bureau of Investigation arrested Kejriwal in connection with the excise policy corruption case.

What ED Alleges?

The ED has alleged that other accused in the case were in contact with Kejriwal to formulate now-scrapped excise policy, which reportedly benefited them and provided kickbacks to the Aam Aadmi Party.

Kejriwal’s petition also challenges the constitutional validity of certain provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) regarding arrest, questioning, and bail. He questioned whether a political party is covered under the anti-money laundering law, claiming that the PMLA’s “arbitrary procedure” is being used to create an unfair advantage for the ruling party in the general elections.

The plea emphasized that Kejriwal, a “vocal critic” of the ruling party and a member of the opposition INDIA bloc, believes the ED, controlled by the Union government, has been “weaponized.”

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About the Author: Meera Verma