‘We have located money trail, Arvind Kejriwal involved personally, vicariously’, says ED in court; HC reserves order on Delhi CM’s plea against arrest | India News

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday reserved its order on the petition moved by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal challenging his arrest and Enforcement Directorate (ED) remand granted by the trial court in connection with a money-laundering case linked to the excise policy “scam”.
We have money trail, argues ASG
The probe agency, represented by Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, opposed the petition and said there is “categorical finding that there has been money laundering”.
He further added that Kejriwal is “involved personally and vicariously” in the matter.
The ASG further contended that a “large number of phones and electronic devices have been destroyed”.
“All this cash payment to large number of people, vendors, advertisers and workers was done in cash. That cash is not accounted for. It may be Rs 100 crore or little less. The money trail is there. We have located the money trail. The money may have been used and that’s why it can’t be found,” he said.

“We have WhatsApp chats we have hawala operators statements. It’s not as if we are shooting in the dark. We have large amount of Income Tax data … We have established, evidence shows that the kickbacks were used for election campaign of AAP in Goa. So the AAP is beneficiary because it used the money,” said the ASG.

He further argued that “money laundering offence is worse than murder because murder is committed in the heat of the moment but money laundering is done coldly”.
Timing of arrest
Appearing for Kejriwal, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi asked the court to note the “timing of the arrest”, which he said “ensures that Kejriwal is unable to participate in democratic activity”.
He added that the “effort is to try and disintegrate his party before even the first vote is cast … The timing of the arrest here suggests a clear unconstitutional object”.

“The only object is to humiliate and insult. The true object of the arrest is to disable Kejriwal,” said Singhvi.
The advocate said that in its remand application, the ED has said “they want to find in future, the chief minister’s role in the entire conspiracy”. “This can’t be the ground for arrest,” he added.
Poll argument just a bogey: ASG
Slamming the argument, ASG Raju said: “Aam aadmi has to go behind bars if he has committed a crime but because you are a chief minister you can’t be arrested? You will loot the country but no one can touch you because the elections are coming?”

“The election is just the bogey to divert the attention of the court from the main issue, from the scam that runs into 100s of crores. A large number of mobile phones have been destroyed … You act through the middleman and when things come to you, you say I don’t know anything, I didn’t do anything.”
Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 and is currently lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail No 2, with his deputy Manish Sisodia and former Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain, who was arrested in an unrelated money laundering case.
Kejriwal has been remanded to judicial custody till April 15, after spending over 10 days in the ED’s lock-up. The ED did not seek further custody but said his release could hamper its probe.
(With inputs from agencies)

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