The Delhi High Court has scheduled Arvind Kejriwal's plea against arrest for a final hearing on April 3. The Court has not granted any interim relief to the Chief Minister of Delhi.

While issuing notice, the Bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma directed the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) to file its reply in the interim Application as well as the main Writ Petition by April 2. The Court clarified that no adjournment shall be granted on the date of final hearing, i.e. April 3.

"The Directorate of Enforcement will ensure that replies are filed to the main petition as well as the application for interim release of the petitioner by 02.04.2024 and copies of the same are provided in digitized form as well as hard copy to the learned counsel for the petitioner. The application as well as the main petition will be taken up for final disposal on 03.04.2024. No adjournment shall be granted on the said date," the Court said in its Order.

The Court said, that any Order passed in the Application for interim release of Kejriwal, pending disposal of the main Petition without calling for reply of ED at this stage, would rather amount to deciding 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, as those issues are the edifice of arguments of the learned Senior Counsel for the petitioner seeking immediate release of the petitioner," it said.

Accordingly, the Court will hear Kejriwal's plea on April 3.

Earlier in the day, the Court after hearing submissions of Senior Counsels appearing for Kejriwal had said that the Order will be passed at 4 pm today. During the hearing, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the AAP leader, argued, "The object of the arrest was not to find material but to disable me and my party politically. My prayer is, release me now".

Opposing the plea, ASG SV Raju contended, "My first submission is that I will need time to file a reply. Elaborate submissions have been made." Raju submitted, "I even need time to file a reply to their Interim application." Referring to the Interim application, Raju submitted that one of the prayers sought in the main Writ Petition is the same. He further contended that if the interim application is decided, the main Petition will become redundant.

Pertinently, on March 22, Kejriwal was granted a 6-day remand to the ED. Kejriwal was produced in the Trial Court shortly after he withdrew from the Apex Court his writ petition against his arrest by the ED. While withdrawing the plea, Senior Advocate Abhishek Singhvi had told the Supreme Court that they wanted to contest ED's prayer for remand before the Trial Court.

The AAP had first moved the Apex Court on Thursday (March 21) late in the evening after the ED arrested Kejriwal. The agency took him to its headquarters in Central Delhi. The Delhi CM's legal team attempted to get a late night hearing from the Supreme Court. However, no special Supreme Court Bench was set up on Thursday night to hear the CM's plea challenging his Arrest.

The Arrest of the first sitting Chief Minister came hours after the Delhi High Court refused to grant protection to the AAP national convenor from any coercive action by the agency.

Cause Title: Arvind Kejriwal v. Directorate of Enforcement [W.P. (CRL)-985/2024]

Click here to read/download the Order