Thank you for raising voice against illegal arrests of leaders: Kejriwal on Kerala CM's letter

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal | Photo: PTI

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday thanked his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan for raising his voice against alleged misuse of central probe agencies against non-BJP leaders and the arrest of AAP's Manish Sisodia by the CBI.

Kerala chief minister Vijayan on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over Sisodia's arrest in the Delhi excise policy scam case, urging him to "dispel the perception" that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader was being targeted for "political reasons".

His letter came on a day the Delhi deputy chief minister was sent to the Tihar jail here shortly after a CBI court remanded him to 14-day judicial custody in the case till March 20.

In his letter, Vijayan also sought to draw the prime minister's attention to "voices of protest" raised by leaders of several opposition parties, including some chief ministers, on Sisodia's arrest.

He was referring to a recent joint letter shot off to the prime minister by nine opposition leaders including chief ministers Mamata Banerjee, K Chandrasekhar Rao and Kejriwal, who alleged "blatant misuse" of central agencies against members of the opposition.

Sharing Vijayan's letter, Kejriwal, who is the AAP's national convenor, tweeted, "Thank you Hon'ble CM Kerala Shri @pinarayivijayan ji for raising voice against illegal arrests of leaders across India."

The CBI had arrested Sisodia on February 26 in connection with the alleged scam in framing of the now-scrapped excise policy for 2021-22.

"While refraining from commenting on the merits of the case under investigation, let me submit that the arrest of Sisodia has lent further force to the argument about certain actions of the central investigation agencies," the Kerala chief minister noted in his letter.

It is the golden principle of natural justice that justice should not only be done, but seem to be done too, he added.

Vijayan noted that Sisodia is an elected representative of the people and had been appearing before investigating agencies in response to their summons.

There is no "incriminating evidence" against Sisodia "like cash seizure" in course of the investigation of the case so far "as per information coming out in public domain," he said.

"Unless the arrest was an imperative for preventing the impediment to the investigation, the desirable act would have been to avoid it," Vijayan said.

While the law has to take its course, he said, it is equally important that "the widespread perception that Sisodia is being targeted for political reasons and need to be dispelled."

"In this matter, I hope guidance from the prime minister will go a long way in changing the present perception, which is reflected in the letter of the important political leaders including some chief ministers in this matter," Vijayan added.


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