22 Mar 2024

Kejriwal withdraws petition from Supreme Court; Delhi CM produced in court, ED seeks 10-day remand

Arvind Kejriwal has decided to retract his petition from the Supreme Court regarding his recent arrest by the Enforcement Directorate. Instead, he plans to pursue legal recourse through a trial court, adhering to proper procedure. Following his overnight stay at the ED's office, he will be presented before a special court dedicated to the agency's cases.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi informed the Supreme Court about the withdrawal, citing the clash with the remand process. Kejriwal's legal team acknowledged the rejection of a similar petition by K Kavitha, a leader of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi, in the same case, by the Supreme Court. Recognizing the court's stance against direct petitions bypassing lower courts, Kejriwal's team opted for withdrawal, anticipating an unfavorable response.

Despite the arrest sparking widespread protests, Kejriwal's legal team maintains that his position as Delhi Chief Minister remains unaffected since he is only accused, not convicted. The AAP has affirmed that Kejriwal will continue to discharge his duties even if confined, affirming their commitment to governance.

Arrest has triggered protests across the city

The arrest has triggered protests across the city, with opposition parties expressing solidarity with Kejriwal. Concerns have been raised about potential misuse of power, with apprehensions of President's Rule in Delhi. Rahul Gandhi of the Congress is set to meet Kejriwal's family, indicating broader political support for the embattled Chief Minister.

ED seeks 10-day custody

Meanwhile, Kejriwal was brought before the Rouse Avenue court in the city on Friday afternoon. The investigative agency seeks a 10-day custody for formally charging the leader of the Aam Aadmi Party, who faces arrest just weeks before an election.

Kejriwal, the first incumbent Chief Minister to face such arrest, spent the night at the ED's office on Abdul Kalam Road in Delhi. Senior advocate Vikram Chaudhari, along with colleague Abhishek Manu Singhvi joining via video-link, will represent him.

The allegations against Kejriwal relate to the Delhi liquor policy scam, where he is accused of being a conspirator. The ED claims that the policy provided exorbitant profit margins, with proceeds allegedly diverted for election campaign expenses. Kejriwal's arrest follows that of other AAP leaders implicated in the case, underscoring the legal challenges facing the party.

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