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ED calls Kejriwal kingpin, Kejriwal says ED becoming judge, jury and executioner

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ED calls Kejriwal kingpin, Kejriwal says ED becoming judge, jury and executioner
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The Rose Avenue court in Delhi heard the Enforcement Directorate (ED) allege the kingpin charge against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the Delhi liquor policy scam while seeking his ten-day custody.

Kejriwal, a prominent figure in Indian politics known for his anti-corruption stance, was arrested late on Thursday by the central agency, marking the first time in independent India that a serving Chief Minister has faced such action.

The move by the ED came after Kejriwal repeatedly skipped multiple summons by the investigation agency, a total of nine, denouncing them as "illegal." Representing himself in court, Kejriwal's counsel vehemently argued against the arrest, questioning the lack of substantial evidence and accusing the ED of becoming "judge, jury, and executioner."

Senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, speaking on behalf of Kejriwal, challenged the grounds of the arrest, emphasizing the absence of any material possession linking his client to the alleged scam. "What is the recovery from me? There has to be something in my possession...it was the cellphone. Couldn't they have done this earlier?" Gupta questioned.

Furthermore, the defence team highlighted procedural irregularities, with Senior Advocate Vikram Chaudhuri accusing the ED of timing the arrest to disrupt Kejriwal's political activities. "Were you waiting for the (Lok Sabha) election to start? Why didn't you arrest me earlier? You wanted to prevent me from campaigning for elections," Chaudhuri remarked, reflecting the political undertones surrounding the arrest.

Chaudhuri also contested the portrayal of Kejriwal as the "kingpin" in the case, pointing out contradictions in the ED's assertions. "The first line of the remand says, Kejriwal is kingpin as the CM...but in January they said I'm not being called as the CM," he stated, suggesting inconsistencies in the agency's narrative.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Kejriwal, further lambasted the ED's case, alleging a lack of corroborative evidence and questioning the credibility of approvers. "An approver is the most unworthy friend...his statements have 0 credibility," Singhvi asserted, challenging the foundation of the prosecution's arguments.

Meanwhile, the legal battle spilled into the public domain, with a PIL filed in the Delhi High Court demanding Kejriwal's removal as Chief Minister. Surjit Singh Yadav, a farmer and social worker, spearheaded the plea, questioning the legitimacy of Kejriwal's continued tenure in light of the ongoing legal proceedings.

In response to the accusations, the ED doubled down on its assertions, painting Kejriwal as the central figure in the alleged scam. ASG SV Raju, representing the agency, argued that Kejriwal, as the national convenor of AAP, bore vicarious liability for the party's actions. Raju alleged that proceeds from the scam were utilized in AAP's election campaigning, further complicating the political landscape.

As the courtroom drama unfolded, Kejriwal maintained his resolve, expressing dedication to serving the nation irrespective of his legal predicament. "Whether I stay in jail, or outside, my life will be dedicated to serving the nation," Kejriwal asserted, signalling his unwavering commitment to his political ideals amidst adversity.

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TAGS:Enforcement DirectorateDelhi liquor policy scamDelhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal
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