Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on Wednesday agreed to “immediately look at” the email sent by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s lawyers for an urgent hearing of his petition seeking the quashing of his arrest in a Delhi Excise policy-linked money laundering case.

Kejriwal appealed to the Supreme Court a day after the Delhi High Court refused to quash his arrest in the liquor policy case.

Senior advocate AM Singhvi and Shadan Farasat, appearing for Kejriwal, made the oral mention before the CJI. Singhvi said Kejriwal’s arrest was made based on “unrelied documents”.

The documents were suppressed from him, Singhvi said. “I have sent an email for urgent listing. This is the arrest of a Chief Minister,” he added.

“I will immediately look at it. I make sure that all emails are looked at,” Chief Justice Chandrachud replied.

The Chief Minister’s lawyers said the petition would most likely be listed for hearing on Monday (April 15). April 11 and April 12 are court holidays.

On April 9, the Delhi High Court had found nothing illegal about the Chief Minister’s arrest. A Single Judge Bench of Justice Swarna Kanta based its order on the prima facie finding that there was adequate material, including statements of approvers, involvement of middlemen and references that cash was handed over for expenditure in Goa elections.

Kejriwal has argued that the decision to swoop in and arrest him on March 21, merely days before the general elections, was a carefully calibrated move to create an uneven playing field in favour of the BJP.

He contended that his arrest and the case against the Excise policy was an instance of a Central agency, the Enforcement Directorate(ED) in this case, being misused as a weapon to crush the Opposition.

Kejriwal said his name did not figure as a suspect in the prosecution complaints, even in the five supplementary ones, filed by the ED.

The Chief Minister said the summons issued by the ED on earlier occasions were vague in nature. Their ambiguity indicated a roving enquiry intent on muzzling political dissent. He said his continued incarceration was a cock-a-snook on the federal system of governance.

ED counter

Tuesday had seen the ED counter in the High Court that the arrest and subsequent remand of Kejriwal were natural outcomes of painstaking collection of evidence.

The agency, represented by Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, had informed the High Court that the procedure of arrest was correctly followed. Kejriwal was furnished with the grounds of his arrest in writing.

The agency had termed Kejriwal the kingpin and key conspirator of the Delhi excise “scam”.

The ED claimed he was involved in the conspiracy of formulation of the excise policy and also engaged in the demanding kickbacks from liquor businessmen in exchange of favours granting in the policy.

The agency argued that Kejriwal was involved in the use of proceeds of crime generated in the Goa election campaign of AAP. He was the national convenor of the party and its “ultimate decision-maker”.

The ED argued that Vijay Nair, on behalf of Kejriwal and AAP, received kickbacks to the tune of ₹100 crore from the “South Group”.

The “South Group” was represented by Abhishek Boinpally, Arun Pillai and Buchi Babu. Abhishek Boinpally facilitated the transfer of money in conspiracy with Vijay Nair and his associate Dinesh Arora, the ED had argued in the High Court.

The Central agency said the “South Group” members had got control of wholesaler business M/s Indo Spirits and even retail zones, got the business of Pernod Ricard and even got the L1 license granted despite multiple complaints and being in violation of the Excise Policy 2021-22.

As per the investigation done so far, the proceeds of crime of about ₹45 crore, which was part of the bribe received from South Group. The money was used in the election campaign of the AAP in Goa in 2021-22.