No money found, says CM; ED says argument irrelevant | India News

NEW DELHI: A criminal committing murder or a politician indulging in “terrorism” can’t claim immunity from arrest on the ground that elections are near, Enforcement Directorate (ED) told Delhi high court on Wednesday.
Opposing any relief to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on his plea challenging the legal validity of his arrest, ED also maintained that the fact that there has been no recovery of “proceeds of crime is irrelevant” if the agency can make out a case that an accused laundered or used such money.Appearing for the agency, additional solicitor general (ASG) S V Raju questioned the central theme of Kejriwal’s plea that his arrest was timed to “disable and incapacitate AAP” on the eve of elections.
“Aam aadmi has to go behind bars, irrespective of whether there are elections or not, but I am a chief minister, so you can’t put me behind bars even if I have committed a heinous crime, an economic crime? Basic structure comes into play? I commit murder or rape but I can’t be arrested before elections. What kind of argument is this!” Raju exclaimed in response to senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi‘s argument that CM’s arrest violated the basic structure of Constitution and contravened democracy, free and fair elections and a level playing field.
Assailing the ED’s case, Singhvi told HC that the agency was “trying to play” a “fixed match” and the arrest was based on uncorroborated statements of co-accused-turned-approvers. He pointed out that there was no necessity to arrest the AAP leader in violation of PMLA provisions a year-and-a-half after the probe was initiated by ED in Aug 2022.
Rebutting ED’s criticism by Singhvi, the ASG told the court the agency was “not shooting in the dark” and that there was income tax data, WhatsApp chats and statements of “hawala operators”. The HC reserved the verdict on Kejriwal petition challenging his arrest and remand.

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