Advertisment

ED's strong response to SC's stringent scrutiny in Kejriwal’s arrest

author-image
Shailesh Khanduri
New Update
Arvind Kejriwal Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate Thursday told the Supreme Court that there was a demand for a Rs 100 crore bribe out of which the probe agency traced Rs 45 crore.

Advertisment

Hearing on Kejriwal’s plea challenging his arrest, ASG Raju and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued for ED before the bench of Justice Sanjeev Khanna and Dipankar Datta.

The ED was responding to a query from Justice Khanna if the agency had scaled the bribe amount down to Rs 45 crore.

Justice Khanna was probing whether the money went to AAP before or after the liquor policy was imposed.

Advertisment

Additional Solicitor General SV Raju informed the court that the policy was imposed on November 17, 2021, whereas the payment was made in March.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said it was after the policy.

“Out of 100 crores, he has only accounted for 2 amounts,” Singhvi added.

Advertisment

Responding to Kejriwal’s claim that his arrest was illegal because ED did not satisfy the provisions of S. 19 of PMLA, ASG Raju said that from the material, my submission is it is beyond doubt that IO can come to the conclusion that the petitioner has committed the offence and S.19 standard was met by this material.

ASG added that this is not the stage to look into the credibility of the evidence.

The statement on which reliance is placed has to be taken to be correct and the yardstick that some other person would come to a different conclusion is not the criteria, ASG Raju said adding that the word used in S.19 PMLA is material, not evidence.

Advertisment

“It does not say credible or admissible material,” ASG Raju told the apex court.

“The most important material is that Kejriwal demanded 100 crores in bribes. If that material is there, as a result of which 100 crores was generated, it was sent to different places, reached Goa and used in the election campaign and for AAP,” ASG Raju said.

ASG Raju told the court that not only were kickback monies received, but we also have evidence today that Kejriwal stayed in a 7-star hotel in Goa where bills were running in lakhs. “And, the payment was made by Chaman Preet Singh, who received cash.”

Advertisment

Justifying the grounds of arrest, ASG Raju said that the vicarious role is also there.

“As far as his role, he demanded 100 crores. 45 crores handled by Chaman Preet Singh, who paid for his hotel in Goa,” said Raju.

In this case, the grounds of arrest were almost an essay, ASG Raju told the court.

Advertisment

Kejriwal’s other challenge was that the ED considered only those statements which were against him and not those favouring him.

When Justice Khanna asked about Magunta Subbarami Reddy's (hereafter referred to as MSR) earlier statement that he met Kejriwal for some land and not liquor policy, ASG Raju the IO had reason to believe that the first statement was incorrect.

“It is for IO to believe whether the first reason for MSR's meeting with Kejriwal was correct, or the second. Court can't say no, no you have to rely on this and not that. A person in the liquor business goes to meet Kejriwal when he is considering liquor policy. There is likelihood that he would not have met for land for charitable purposes,” said ASG Raju.

Refuting the charges of the arrest being politically motivated, ASG Raju said, “If we really had put pressure on Sarath Reddy, he would have given a totally different statement. If the agency was biased. This is not a statement of somebody who was pressured. He only says he met...he could have said Kejriwal demanded 100 crore etc. The agency has been fair.”

On invoking S. 70 of PMLA, ASG Raju said Kejriwal is the national convenor of AAP, the highest in the organizational structure.

“He is involved in decision-making. He was in-charge of AAP at the time of the offence. He was intrinsically involved in the Delhi Liquor Policy.”

Justice Khanna told SG Mehta that if he goes through the quotations of his arguments in the Electoral Bonds judgment, will any political party be out of it?

To this, SG Mehta politely reminded the court that it may be a case of corruption, not political funding.

Advertisment
Subscribe