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In counter-affidavit in Delhi HC, ED cites CM Kejriwal’s submission of no objection to agency custody

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New Delhi, April 2 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed, in the Delhi High Court, its counter-affidavit to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s petition challenging his arrest by the agency and the trial court order sending him to the agency’s custody. Since Kejriwal’s counsel Ramesh Gupta had submitted before Special Judge Kaveri Baweja of Rouse Avenue Court that Kejriwal has no objection to the custody/remand being extended further, it said that the “petitioner (Kejriwal) has waived his right to question his custody as on today and the petitioner cannot now be allowed to argue that his custody as on today is illegal and present petition is liable to be dismissed on this ground alone”.The ED has submitted that the remand order dated March and the subsequent remand orders dated March 28 and April 1 under challenge are detailed and well-reasoned orders as is evident on a bare reading of the said orders itself and hence “warrant no interference”.The agency has said that it has complied with all procedural requirements of Section 19(1) and (2) of the PMLA as well as Article 22(1) and (2) of the Constitution of India during the arrest and remand of Kejriwal.The agency has claimed that Kejriwal is the kingpin and key conspirator of the Delhi excise scam in collusion with Ministers of the Delhi government, AAP leaders and other persons and that it has that material in possession which demonstrates that he is guilty of the offence of money laundering.The ED has also alleged that Kejriwal was directly involved in the formulation of the Excise Policy 2021-22, drafted “considering the favours to be granted to the South Group” and that Kejriwal has demanded kickbacks from the South Group in exchange for favours to them in the formulation and implementation of the Excise Policy 2021-22.The Delhi High Court had, on March 27, refused any interim relief to Kejriwal, who was arrested by the ED on March 21 and is currently in judicial custody.”… the respondent has to be granted an opportunity to file a reply, as an opportunity for effective representation, and declining this opportunity would amount to a denial of fair hearing as well as violation of one of the principles of natural justice i.e., audi alteram partem, which is applicable to both the parties and not one,” the court had observed.–IANSspr/vd

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