Kejriwal thanked Kerala CM for `raising voice against illegal arrests`


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

Kerala Chief Minister Vijayan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday about Sisodia’s arrest in the Delhi excise case, urging him to “dispel the perception” that the leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was targeted for “political reasons”. .

His letter came on a day when the deputy chief minister of Delhi was sent to Tihar Jail here shortly after a CBI court remanded him in pre-trial detention until March 20 in the case.

In his letter, Vijayan also tried to draw the prime minister’s attention to “votes of protest” from leaders of various opposition parties, including some prime ministers, over Sisodia’s arrest.

He referred to a recent joint letter to the Prime Minister by nine opposition leaders, including Prime Ministers Mamata Banerjee, K Chandrasekhar Rao and Kejriwal, alleging “blatant abuse” of central agencies against members of the opposition.

Kejriwal, who is the national convenor of the AAP, shared Vijayan’s letter and tweeted, “Thank you dear CM Kerala Shri @pinarayivijayan ji for raising your voice against illegal arrests of leaders across India.”

Also Read: Kerala CM urges Prime Minister Modi to dispel perception that Manish Sisodia has been arrested for political reasons

The CBI had arrested Sisodia on Feb. 26 in connection with the alleged scam in drafting the now-expired excise policy for 2021-22. “While I do not comment on the merits of the case under investigation, I would like to state that the arrest of Sisodia has further strengthened the discussion about certain actions of the Central Investigation Bureaus,” the chief minister of Kerala noted in his letter.

It is the golden principle of natural justice that justice should not only be done, but appear to be done, he added. Vijayan noted that Sisodia is an elected representative of the people and had appeared before investigative agencies in response to their appeal.

There has been no “incriminating evidence” against Sisodia “such as seizure of money” in the course of the investigation of the case so far “according to information that has become public,” he said.

“Unless the arrest was necessary to prevent the obstruction of the investigation, it would have been desirable to prevent it,” said Vijayan. While the law must run its course, he said, it is equally important that “the widespread perception that Sisodia is being targeted for political reasons and must be dispelled.”

“In this matter, I hope that guidance from the Prime Minister will greatly contribute to changing the current perception, which is reflected in the letter from the key political leaders, including some Prime Ministers in this matter,” added Vijayan.

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