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No relief for Arvind Kejriwal as Delhi High Court defers petition against arrest to April 3


New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to order immediate release of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, an accused in a money laundering case linked to the Delhi excise policy scam, saying it can't decide the matter without giving an opportunity to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file its response.

Expect big expose, says Sunita Kejriwal

Stressing that no money was found in multiple ED raids, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal's wife Sunita has said her husband would do a “big expose” on the alleged excise policy scam in Delhi court on Thursday.

Need to hear ED too

Having regard to the nature of issues raised, this court is of the opinion that respondent (ED) has to be given an opportunity to file a reply. Delhi High Court

Rejecting Kejriwal's plea for immediate release from the ED's custody, Justice Swarna Kanta Sharma said deciding his application for interim release without calling for the ED's reply would amount to disposing of and granting relief sought in the main petition itself.

“This court remains conscious of the fact that to reach a conclusion as to whether the petitioner herein is entitled to immediate release or not, this court will necessarily have to decide the issues raised in the main petition.”

Justice Sharma, however, issued notice to the ED on Kejriwal's petition challenging his arrest and subsequent ED remand and posted the matter for hearing on April 3.

“Thus, having regard to the nature of issues raised in this petition, this court is of the opinion that the respondent (ED) has to be granted an opportunity to file a reply, as an opportunity for effective representation, and declining this opportunity would amount to denial of fair hearing as well as violation of one of the principles of natural justice…,”Justice Sharma said.

The court directed the ED to ensure that replies were filed to Kejriwal's main petition as well as his application for interim release by April 2.

Noting that the application as well as the main petition will be taken up for final disposal on April 3, the HC said, “No adjournment shall be granted on the date.”

Kejriwal, who was arrested by the ED on March 21, was sent to six-day ED custody by Special Judge Kaveri Baweja on March 22 for custodial interrogation. He will be produced before her on Thursday.

The high court's order came after Additional Solicitor General SV Raju submitted that the ED was given a copy of Kejriwal's petition only on Tuesday afternoon and the agency needed to be given an opportunity to file a reply to it.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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