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Why Is the Enforcement Directorate Acting With Bias Against Kejriwal?

Kejriwal must prove that he has been wrongly arrested and that his involvement in the liquor scam is nonexistent. At present, he does not have any material to prove this.

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arvind kejriwal, kejriwal, aap, aam aadmi party, delhi, excise policy, ed, enforcement directorate, cbi

The case filed against Arvind Kejriwal was based on the FIR filed by the CBI on the complaint of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, alleging multiple irregularities in the Delhi excise policy of 2021–22, which was later withdrawn by the state. Following the CBI case, the ED filed a case under the PMLA, alleging that the money earned through the excise policy was secured through “hawala” channels and was intended for the AAP’s campaign in Goa ahead of the 2022 Assembly elections.

Over the past two years, the CBI and ED have arrested several individuals, including former Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia, AAP’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, and Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K. Kavitha. While Kavitha and Sisodia remain in jail, Sunil Singh was granted bail earlier this year. The ED alleged that Arvind Kejriwal was the mastermind behind the excise policy scam. The court noted that it had become impossible for the accused to obtain bail in such cases, as the investigating agency provided its own reasons, putting the accused on par with a convict without any hope of release.

On May 10, the Supreme Court granted interim bail to Kejriwal until June 1 to campaign in the Lok Sabha polls. The court asked him to surrender on June 2, as the last phase of polls took place on June 1. Kejriwal had filed two bail applications in the Rouse Avenue Court. One was for seven days of medical treatment, which was denied on June 5. The second application was for regular bail, which was granted on June 20. Kejriwal submitted a bail plea requesting an interim bail extension by a week on medical grounds. However, his request was rejected, and he eventually surrendered before the authorities on June 2.

On June 20, the Supreme Court granted regular bail to Arvind Kejriwal. The next day, the ED approached the high court, challenging the trial court’s bail order. The high court suspended the bail order until a decision on the issue of stay was made and issued a notice on the agency’s plea. The court’s order was then put on hold by the Delhi High Court on June 21. The court noted that the allegations against the Delhi Chief Minister surfaced only in the subsequent statements of certain co-accused. It noted that Kejriwal had not been summoned by the court to date but was lying in judicial custody on the insistence of the ED on the pretext that the investigation was still ongoing.

The ED has not shown any evidence that Vijay Nair was acting on the directions of the applicant. It has also failed to establish how Vinod Chauhan’s close relations with Charanpreet are relevant in proving the applicant’s guilt, even if the applicant knows both of these co-accused,” the court noted.

The court stated that Nair was allegedly an AAP worker, while Chauhan and Charanpreet Singh were named as accused in the excise policy case. It further said that the ED had also failed to clarify how it determined that the Rs 1 crore attached to Chauhan was part of the proceeds of the crime. The ED has also not clarified how the alleged amount of Rs 40 crore traced during the investigation is part of the proceeds of the crime. It seems that the ED believes the evidence on record is insufficient to proceed against the applicant and is taking time to procure the necessary evidence to convince the court. Commenting on the delayed bail in cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the court noted that it had become impossible for the accused to obtain bail in such cases, as the investigating agency provided its own reasons, putting the accused on par with a convict without any hope of release.

Yesterday, the CBI examined the Delhi CM in Tihar Jail and recorded his statement. On the same day, the Delhi High Court stayed the bail granted to Arvind Kejriwal by the trial court. The argument that no money trail was found in the case of the liquor policy scam in Delhi defies common sense, because an IIT graduate like Kejriwal would not be foolish enough to leave such a trail. No money trail has been found in the case of Lalu Prasad, who has been convicted and is serving a jail term, though he is out on bail. No one will be swayed by his rhetoric. Arvind Kejriwal is going to the Supreme Court with the same defenses based on the approvers’ statements, which cannot be relied upon. Additionally, Kejriwal does not seem to realize that the ED is relying entirely on the approvers’ statements to prove his guilt. The defenses have been dismissed in the High Court. The Supreme Court will likely view these defenses similarly, as there is no different standard for evaluating them. Hence, they may not withstand legal scrutiny. Kejriwal’s getting any relief seems unlikely.

Once a person is arrested under PMLA, the onus of proving innocence lies with the accused. Kejriwal must prove that he has been wrongly arrested and that his involvement in the liquor scam is nonexistent. At present, he does not have any material to prove this. The purchase of electoral bonds by Sharat Chandra Reddy or contesting an election under the BJP by Mugunta Reddy does not hold any ground in court. Who buys which electoral bonds is not relevant to the courts. What Kejriwal requires is a new set of substantial arguments that can challenge the ED’s case.

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Tamanhttps://authorvaidehi.com
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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