Supreme Court Questions ED on Statement of Witness Who Did Not Implicate Arvind Kejriwal Earlier: Report
Debayan Roy (Bar  and  Bench) 16 May 2024
The Supreme Court on Thursday questioned the stand of the enforcement directorate (ED) about the testimony of a witness who had not incriminated Delhi chief minister (CM) Arvind Kejriwal in his earlier statement in the Delhi liquor policy case.
A bench of justice Sanjiv Khanna and justice Dipankar Datta asked a series of questions to the ED after the statement of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Lok Sabha candidate Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, whose son Raghava Magunta Reddy is an approver in the case, was read before it.
When additional solicitor general (ASG) SV Raju, representing the ED, said that it was for the investigating officer (IO) to believe or disbelieve the earlier witness statement and a court can't question that, the bench asked whether any reason for that decision was recorded in the file.
"Let us for the present purpose, assume the statement is not informed etc...but should this [not] be in the file also? Else you are improving the case when arguments are on," justice Datta says.
The ASG conceded it was not in the file.
Justice Datta, then says, "You may have good reasons to arrest but you need to touch upon Section 164 statement saying that you do not believe it."
Justice Khanna also remarked that if the court has to quash the arrest, then it may have to say that the relevant material was not taken into consideration.
However, it clarified that the observation was not specific to Mr Kejriwal's case.
At a later stage in the hearing, the Court also remarked that approver statements are tested on different parameters and corroboration has to be there.
ASG Raju responded that there are other statements also. He added that their 'veracity and credibility' cannot be looked at this stage.
The bench was hearing Mr Kejriwal's plea challenging his arrest and remand in the money-laundering case registered by ED.
It has been alleged that a criminal conspiracy was hatched by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders, including Mr Kejriwal, former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and others to create loopholes in the Delhi Excise Policy of 2021-22 to favour some liquor sellers for undue favours.
Mr Kejriwal was arrested by the ED on 21 March 2024.
The Court had recently granted interim bail to the Delhi CM till 1st June to enable him to campaign for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.
4 weeks ago
This is a stage manage drama by BJP govt to weaken AAP in the ensuing LS Polls, and take shelter of PMLA through their faithful servant ED. At present all law enforcing agencies are "yes man" of rulling party at the central level. It is as clear as daylight to the enlightened people of the country.
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