Will soon file prosecution complaint against Kejriwal, AAP in excise policy case: ED to SC

New Delhi: In potential trouble for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday told the Supreme Court it will soon file a prosecution complaint against him and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in a money laundering case related to the alleged excise policy scam.

Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the ED, told a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta that the agency proposed to file a prosecution complaint (charge sheet) against Kejriwal and the AAP. “We will do it shortly. It is in the pipeline,” he told the court.

The ED made the statement when the court was hearing Kejriwal’s challenge to his arrest in the money laundering case arising from the alleged Delhi excise scam.

Raju claimed the probe agency has enough evidence to show that Kejriwal demanded

Rs 100 crore bribe which was used by AAP in the Goa Assembly poll campaign.

“We have direct evidence that Kejriwal stayed in a seven-star hotel, whose bills were partly paid by an accused in the case,” Raju submitted, adding Kejriwal played a key role in the formulation of the now scrapped Delhi excise policy. He alleged that Kejriwal, as the national convenor of the AAP, was vicariously responsible for the alleged scam. Kejriwal, despite being the chief minister, does not hold any departmental portfolio.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who also appeared for the ED, questioned the maintainability of the petition, saying that barring the first two occasions when Kejriwal opposed the remand orders, he virtually “consented” to judicial custody. He submitted the court cannot hold a mini-trial at the remand stage and

examine material and other evidence available with the investigating officer.

“The court can only see whether there is any material for arrest and not what material is there. In this case, the materials were seen by the trial court and the high court. The high court had summoned the case files and perused the material. Mini-trial, which this court is called upon to do, is what we are opposing,” he submitted.

Mehta said that if this court starts interfering at the remand stage, it will open the doors for powerful people to approach the apex court directly, without following the procedure prescribed under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

“There are certain in-built safeguards provided under section 19 of PMLA, which deals with powers of arrest of ED officer. More rigorous the provision of arrest, the less scrutiny by courts,” he said.

The bench, however, did not agree with the submission of Mehta and said that if there is a violation of section 19 conditions, the courts can interfere.

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