Arvind Kejriwal’s Arrest: Unprecedented Events Unfold in Excise Policy Case

After evading summons from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for several months, Arvind Kejriwal, the three-time Chief Minister, was arrested late on Thursday in connection with an excise policy case. 

A 12-member team from the central agency arrived at his residence shortly after the Delhi High Court denied him interim protection from coercive action. 

Kejriwal’s arrest marks the first time a serving chief minister has been apprehended. AAP’s legal team swiftly approached the Supreme Court seeking an urgent hearing, with the matter expected to be addressed today by the apex court.

Here’s the timeline of the case:

– November 2021: The Delhi liquor policy, introduced in November 2021, came under scrutiny from the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which alleged deliberate loopholes benefiting AAP leaders.

– July 2022: Allegations in the Delhi excise policy scam stemmed from a report by Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, implicating Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and 14 others. The case was referred to the CBI.

– September 2022: AAP communications in-charge Vijay Nair was arrested by the CBI and later by the ED for his alleged involvement as a middleman in the scam, particularly during AAP’s Goa Assembly poll campaign.

– February 2023: Former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia was arrested by the CBI and resigned from the Delhi government, with his portfolios transferred to party colleague Atishi.

– March 2023: The ED informed a Delhi court that the alleged proceeds of crime amounted to over Rs 292 crore, detailing a purported scam involving private entities in the wholesale liquor business.

– October 2023: Kejriwal received summons from the ED for the first time, with nine summonses issued so far. He claimed they were politically motivated. AAP MP Sanjay Singh was also arrested, accused of involvement in illegal cash transactions.

– March 15, 2024: BRS leader and Telangana Legislative Council member K Kavitha was arrested by the ED for her alleged role in the ‘South Group’, receiving custody until March 23.

– March 19, 2024: The ED implicated Kejriwal as a conspirator for the first time, while the CBI hinted at potential arrests of high-profile individuals in the case.

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About the Author: Payal Singh