Arvind Kejriwal Seeks Supreme Court Relief. What Happens If No Hearing Today

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud refused to specify if a hearing will be granted today.

If Arvind Kejriwal’s challenge to yesterday’s high court order does not come up in the Supreme Court today, the Delhi Chief Minister will have to remain in Tihar jail for another four days. The court is closed for the next four days. According to Supreme Court’s calendar, the court is closed for Eid-Ul-Fitr on Thursday, a local holiday on Friday, then comes the week. The court, therefore, will reopen on Monday.

Mr Kejriwal’s counsel, Senior Advocate Abhishek Singhvi, raised the matter before Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud this morning and sought an urgent hearing. The Chief Justice refused to specify if a hearing will be granted today. “We will see, we will look into it,” he said, adding that he will pass appropriate orders during the day.

The high court yesterday dismissed Mr Kejriwal’s challenge to his March 21 arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case linked to Delhi’s now-scrapped liquor policy. The court held that the central agency was left with “little option” after the AAP leader skipped multiple summonses in the money laundering case. It also pointed to the ED’s allegation that Mr Kejriwal was actively involved in the use and concealment of alleged proceeds of crime.

The court stressed that there is no separate protocol for a probe agency to follow for questioning a common man and a Chief Minister.

“Further, this Court holds that this Court would not lay down two different categories of laws, one for common citizens, and the other granting special privilege to be extended by investigating agency to a Chief Minister or any other person in power only on the basis of being in that public office since that public office is enjoyed by that public figure due to the mandate of the public,” Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma said in her statement.

AAP leader and Delhi Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj has said they are hopeful of a favourable verdict in Supreme Court. He said the ED and the CBI did not find even a rupee during their searches in connection with the Delhi liquor policy case. “They are talking about crores. But ED and CBI have not found even a rupee of illegal money. Witnesses have been pressured to change their statements and say what ED wants them to,” he said. “This issue is not about money laundering. This is the biggest political conspiracy in India’s history.”

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