Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to HC: Foundation of My Arrest is Flawed, Immediately Release Me – News18


Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal, in his plea before the Delhi High Court on Wednesday, said that the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) action of arresting him “violated his fundamental and human rights”, as the agency failed to establish his guilt in the alleged excise policy scam. CNN-News18 has exclusively accessed a copy of the petition.

Senior advocate AM Singhvi, appearing for the AAP leader, submitted the petition, which states: “My prayer is release me now because the foundation of my arrest is flawed, this is my interim prayer… Although this is a matter in realm of criminal law, it impinges on the basic structure.”

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“A sitting CM has been arrested after the Model Code of Conduct was implemented, without any material in a non-existent enquiry…The object of the arrest is to create a non-level playing field…Here by creating a non level playing field, you’re hitting the basic structure of the Constitution… This threshold of arrest under Section 19 is kept high because under 45 the securing the bail is also as much difficult…,” said Singhvi.

Referring to the remand note, Singhvi, on behalf of Kejriwal, added: “They say that they want me for unearthing the remaining proceeds of crime…Saying that you’re not giving a confession and that’s why I am putting you to arrest would turn the whole law upside down…What is it that you could not have done without my arrest?…You are at a non-trial preliminary intermediate stage. Even assuming all this material you have to show the necessity to arrest. You only have “alleged material”…Statement of approver can’t be a basis to arrest me…”

Senior Advocate Amit Desai, appearing for Kejriwal, said, “The preliminary issue is that Section 19 has not been properly followed.”

The petition states: “The DOE has at the time of arrest has failed to establish that Petitioner is guilty of committing activities stipulated under Section 3, i.e., be it one of concealment, possession, acquisition, use of proceeds of crime as much as projecting it as untainted property or claiming it to be so.”

It further adds: “The fact that the Petitioner was arrested without any interrogation or questioning clearly shows that the present proceedings of arrest are pre-meditated and nothing but an act of political vendetta to skew the balance and level-playing field in the General Election, 2024.”

Kejriwal, who was arrested on March 21 and subsequently remanded in ED custody by a Delhi court till March 28, has sought immediate release from prison and quashing of the remand order. The case pertains to the alleged corruption and money laundering in formulating and executing the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22 that was later scrapped.


As Singhvi submitted the petition in the morning, the ED urged the HC to grant time to file reply. Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing for the agency, said the “bulky” petition was served upon them only on Tuesday, and three weeks should be given to bring their stand on record. For interim relief as well, appropriate time should be given to respond, he said.

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Singhvi alleged that the request to file response was a delay tactic. Challenge is to the foundation of arrest and there are several “glaring issues” that need immediate decision by the high court either way. “My friend’s request is extraordinary and unnecessary. His client is in a malafide,” said Singhvi.


Earlier in the day, Acting Chief Justice of the Delhi high court cautioned the legal cell of AAP over protests on the premises. “If organised (protests) in court premises, they will do it at their own peril. There will be severe consequences for it…Right to approach the court is a fundamental right. No one can be stopped, if someone stops the common people, there will be very severe consequences,” the court said, while posting the matter for hearing on Thursday.

The court’s observations came after a letter against the protest by AAP legal cell in district courts was mentioned before Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora. Advocate Vaibhav Singh mentioned before the bench that a massive protest has been called for in court premises, and “for political purpose” one cannot go into court premises and protest.


Meanwhile, a public interest litigation has been filed in the Delhi HC seeking directions to prevent Kejriwal from issuing orders while in the ED’s custody. Kejriwal issued a new order from ED custody on Tuesday to Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj to address shortage of medicines and diagnostic tests at mohalla clinics and hospitals in the city. Soon after, Bharadwaj said a session of the Delhi Assembly will be held on Wednesday.

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This was the second direction issued by the chief minister from ED custody. The first was on Sunday to water department minister Atishi, to look into water shortage and sewerage issues. In the PIL, the petitioner, who claims to be a social worker, has asserted that Kejriwal has “virtually forfeited his office” and being in custody, he has disabled himself from performing the duties and responsibilities of a public servant.


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