21 Mar 2024

ED Raids Arvind Kejriwal's Residence; SC Refuses Urgent Hearing

Following the Delhi High Court's rejection of Arvind Kejriwal's plea for protection in the liquor policy case, a team from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrived at the Delhi Chief Minister's residence to question him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Reports indicate that a contingent of 12 officials is present at the residence with a search warrant, having confiscated the phones of Kejriwal and his family. As the ED officials conduct their inquiry inside, a heavy deployment of Delhi Police, Rapid Action Force personnel, and CRPF teams surrounds the premises.

It appears they intend to apprehend Kejriwal: Saurabh

Saurabh Bharadwaj, a Delhi minister who also arrived at the scene, remarked, "The police presence and restricted access suggest a raid is underway. It appears they intend to apprehend Arvind Kejriwal."

In response, Kejriwal has sought an urgent hearing from the Supreme Court, which, however, declined to entertain his petition immediately, scheduling the matter for Friday morning.

This development comes after Kejriwal ignored nine previous summonses from the Enforcement Directorate regarding the alleged liquor policy scam. Additionally, he skipped summons related to a money laundering case linked to purported irregularities in the Delhi Jal Board.

K Kavitha was arrested in same liquor policy case

The ED's interrogation of the Delhi Chief Minister follows the recent arrest of BRS leader K Kavitha in the same liquor policy case, wherein Kejriwal was implicated as a conspirator for the first time.

Speculation surrounding Kejriwal's potential arrest by the Enforcement Directorate has persisted since he was initially summoned in October last year.

Previously, former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia was arrested in connection with the case in February, while AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh faced custody in October.

Earlier on Thursday, the Delhi High Court, while declining immediate protection from arrest to Kejriwal, directed the ED to respond to his petition. 

In a statement released on Sunday, the Enforcement Directorate labeled Kejriwal as a conspirator in the alleged liquor policy scam, alleging his involvement in corrupt practices related to Delhi's Excise Policy formulation and implementation.

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