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Delhi excise policy: Supreme Court notifies ED of Arvind Kejriwal's lack of relief

Image credit: additional resources.

In response to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's appeal contesting the Enforcement Directorate's arrest and remand in an excise policy matter, the Supreme Court has sent out a notice.

On Monday, April 15, the Supreme Court requested the Enforcement Directorate's answer to a suit filed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal contesting his detention in a money-laundering case related to the excise policy matter that was later dropped.

Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta, a bench of judges, sent notice to the ED regarding Arvind Kejriwal's appeal against the Delhi High Court ruling that had maintained his detention in the matter.

The judge announced that the case would be heard the week of April 29 and requested that the ED submit a response to the plea by April 24. On April 9, the high court upheld his detention in the money-laundering case, stating that the ED had "little option" left after he ignored several summonses and declined to cooperate with the inquiry.

The leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had filed a plea against his arrest by the ED and subsequent remand in the federal agency's custody, but the high court had dismissed it. Arvind Kejriwal's judicial custody was prolonged by Delhi's Rouse Avenue court on Monday until April 23.

The AAP leader's custody was extended by Special Judge Kaveri Baweja of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and ED after he appeared in court via video conference and had his previous time of detention expire. Arvind Kejriwal's custody was requested to be extended by the ED, which claimed that the inquiry was in a critical phase.

The issue concerns purported instances of corruption and money laundering during the development and implementation of the excise policy for 2021–2022 that was subsequently abandoned by the Delhi administration. Shortly after the Supreme Court denied Arvind Kejriwal's request for immunity from the federal anti-money laundering agency's oppressive action, the ED arrested him on March 21. At the moment, Arvind Kejriwal is being held at Tihar Jail.