The High Court of Delhi on 27th March 2024, in a writ petition (W.P.(CRL) 985/2024 & CRL.M.A. 9427/2024) filed by Arvind Kejriwal against his arrest by the Directorate of Enforcement gave time to the ED to file a reply to the Petition by 03.04.2023.

The petitioner, represented by Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi and other advocates, challenges his arrest and subsequent remand as illegal, arbitrary, and unconstitutional. The petition seeks to quash the arrest order dated 21st March 2024 and the remand order dated 22nd March 2024, alleging a violation of fundamental rights under the Constitution of India. The petition also requests the immediate release of Arvind Kejriwal.

During the proceedings, the petitioner’s counsel argued that the grounds of arrest and the impugned order were sufficient for the court to decide without needing a reply from the Directorate of Enforcement. They emphasized the urgency due to the alleged illegal and unconstitutional nature of the arrest. On the other hand, the Directorate of Enforcement, represented by Mr. S.V. Raju, the Additional Solicitor General, insisted on the right to file a reply and be heard, arguing that it was essential for fair hearing and justice.

The court, after hearing both sides, determined that the issues raised were significant, involving questions of legality, potential political motivation, and concerns under Article 21 of the Constitution. Considering the importance of these issues and the principles of natural justice, the court found it imperative to allow the Directorate of Enforcement to file a detailed response.

The court ordered that the Directorate of Enforcement be given time until 2nd April 2024 to file their reply, and set the final disposal of the main petition and the interim application for 3rd April 2024. The order stressed the need for a fair hearing of both parties and indicated that deciding the application for interim release without a reply from the respondent would effectively mean deciding the main petition itself.

This order underscores the court’s commitment to ensuring a fair and balanced judicial process, respecting the principles of natural justice and the rights of both the petitioner and the respondent.

W.P.(CRL) 985/2024 & CRL.M.A. 9427/2024
ARVIND KEJRIWAL Vs
DIRECTORATE OF ENFORCEMENT

By aor.sanjivnarang@gmail.com

Sanjiv Narang Adv. is an Advocate on Record in the Supreme Court of India. His qualifications include an LLB from University of Delhi and a Masters degree in Personnel Management from Panjab University,Chandigarh.In his more than 3 decades of experience, he has practiced law at the District, High Court and Supreme Court levels.He also has more than a decade of experience in the field of Management. He is the author of two books namely Laws for Women in India and Innovation, Why What and How.