Delhi excise policy case: HC lists Kejriwal’s plea against ED summons for July 11

02:39 PM May 15, 2024 | PTI |

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday listed for hearing on July 11 Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s petition challenging the summonses issued to him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with its probe into the excise policy-linked money laundering case.


A bench headed by Justice Suresh Kumar Kait granted four more weeks to the AAP leader, who was given interim bail till June 1 by the Supreme Court for campaigning in the Lok Sabha Elections, to file a rejoinder to the reply submitted by the ED.

The counsel for the ED has earlier said the petition against the summonses was infructuous after Kejriwal’s arrest by the agency on March 21 in the money laundering case following the high court’s refusal to grant him interim protection from coercive action.

On Wednesday, the agency’s lawyer said the petitioner must choose the forum before which he would press his issues.

The court also observed that a single judge of the high court, while rejecting the AAP leader’s petition against his arrest, has already dealt with his grievances and an appeal against the decision was pending in the top court.


‘Take instructions. Nothing survives in petition,’ the bench, also comprising Justice Manoj Jain, said.

Senior advocate Vikram Chaudhary, appearing for Kejriwal, however, said the issues raised in the petition with respect to the ‘reading down’ of the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) have not been decided by the single judge and urged the court to grant more time to file the rejoinder.

“Counsel for petitioner seeks and is granted four weeks to file rejoinder,” the court said.

On April 22, the court had given two weeks’ time to Kejriwal to file his rejoinder.

The AAP national convenor had approached the high court in the wake of the ninth summons issued by the ED asking him to appear before it on March 21. The high court bench had on March 20 asked the ED to file its reply with respect to the maintainability of the petition.

The next day, it asked the ED to also respond to Kejriwal’s plea seeking protection from arrest, saying ‘at this stage’ it was not inclined to grant him any interim relief. Kejriwal was arrested by the ED later that evening.

The federal probe agency has alleged that other accused in the case were in touch with Kejriwal for formulating the now-scrapped excise policy that resulted in undue benefits to them and kickbacks to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

In his petition, Kejriwal has also challenged the constitutional validity of certain provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) with respect to arrest, questioning and grant of bail.

He has raised several issues, including whether a political party is covered under the anti-money laundering law. It alleged that ‘arbitrary procedure’ under PMLA was being used to create a non-level playing field for the general elections to ‘skew the electoral process in the favour of the ruling party at the Centre’.

Stating the petitioner is a ‘vocal critic’ of the ruling party and a partner of the opposition I.N.D.I.A. bloc, the plea claimed that the ED, being under control of the Union government, has been ‘weaponised’.


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