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Excise policy case: HC refuses to grant interim protection to CM Kejriwal

The Delhi High Court on Thursday, March 21, refused to grant chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s interim protection from arrests in connection with the liquor policy money laundering case. The court asked the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file a response to Kejriwal’s plea, the Live Law reported.

The Delhi CM had filed for interim relief challenging ED’s ninth summon. The next hearing will take place on April 22.

In the petition, Kejriwal has said the arbitrary procedure under PMLA was being employed to create a non-level playing field for the upcoming general elections to “skew the electoral process in the favour of the ruling party at the Centre.”

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Earlier in the day, the high court pulled up the ED asking for evidence against Kejriwal. “If you’re not disclosing to him (Kejriwal) any details, then we need to know if there is any material you have against him, based on what you are calling him,” the court told the probe agency.

On Wednesday, the court had asked him why he was not appearing before the agency.

Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, representing the petitioner in the matter, had then said his client would appear before the ED but protection from coercive action was required because of the agency’s “clear intent” to apprehend him with elections around the corner.

The case pertains to alleged corruption and money laundering in formulating and executing the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22, which was later scrapped.

AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh are in judicial custody in the case.

Kejriwal’s name has been mentioned multiple times in the charge sheets filed by the ED. The agency has alleged that the accused were in touch with Kejriwal to formulate the excise policy that resulted in undue benefits to them, in return for which they paid kickbacks to the AAP.

A Delhi court granted bail to Kejriwal on Saturday on two complaints filed by the ED against him for skipping six of the previous eight summonses in the money-laundering case.

(With PTI inputs)

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