India: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal arrested by ED in excise policy case

Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi Minister Atishi said they had moved the Supreme Court for quashing his arrest and have sought an urgent hearing

By ANI

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Photo: PTI file
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Photo: PTI file

Published: Thu 21 Mar 2024, 8:29 PM

Last updated: Thu 21 Mar 2024, 11:19 PM

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor Arvind Kejriwal has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the excise policy case, sources said.

AAP leader and Delhi Minister Atishi said they had moved the Supreme Court for quashing Kejriwal's arrest and have sought an urgent hearing.


"We have moved the Supreme Court for quashing the arrest of Delhi CM @ArvindKejriwal by ED. We have asked for an urgent hearing by the Supreme Court tonight itself," Atishi said in a post on X.

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She had earlier said that Kejriwal will run the government from jail.

"We have received news that ED has arrested Arvind Kejriwal... We have always said that Arvind Kejriwal will run the govt from jail. He will remain the CM of Delhi. We have filed a case in the Supreme Court. Our lawyers are reaching SC. We will demand SC have an urgent hearing tonight," she said.

An Enforcement Directorate team arrived at Kejriwal's residence on Thursday for questioning in connection with the liquor policy case. The team conducted a search operation at his residence, the sources said.

The Enforcement Directorate team reached his residence for questioning hours after the Delhi High Court refused interim protection to Kejriwal from coercive action in connection with the excise policy case.

AAP workers also staged a protest outside the residence of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.

Denying him interim protection from arrest in the liquor policy case, the Delhi HC ruled that, in this state, it was not inclined to do so.

The court passed down the directive during the hearing on a plea by the AAP supremo, urging coercive action against him in connection with the excise policy case.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Raghav Chadha called the ED's move a conspiracy to arrest the Delhi Chief Minister just before the Lok Sabha elections.

"Just before the Lok Sabha elections, a big conspiracy is going on to arrest Arvind Kejriwal ji. Kejriwal ji has the blessings of crores of people. The wonderful works done in Delhi and Punjab are being discussed all over the world today. You can arrest Kejriwal's body but cannot put Kejriwal's ideology behind bars," Chadha said in a post on X.

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said BJP's political team (ED) cannot put Kejriwal's ideology behind bars. "It is only the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that can stop the BJP. Thoughts and ideas can never be suppressed," he said.

Delhi Minister Imran Hussain said: "It's very unfortunate. It's a conspiracy to stop the AAP and Arvind Kejriwal. People of Delhi love Arvind Kejriwal and they'll respond to the BJP."

ED had issued repeated summons to the AAP supremo in the excise policy case and he had skipped them, pointing out that the probe agency had moved the court against him.

According to the ED, the agency wants to record Kejriwal's statement in the case on issues like the formulation of now scrapped excise policy, meetings held before it was finalized, and allegations of bribery.

Two senior AAP leaders, Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh, are in judicial custody in the excise policy case. Sisodia, who was the then Delhi Deputy Chief Minister, was arrested by the CBI on February 26 following several rounds of questioning. On October 5, ED arrested Sanjay Singh, who is a Rajya Sabha member.

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