“Blatant Interference”: India Protests Germany’s Remarks On Arvind Kejriwal

India summoned a German envoy today to protest against the country’s remarks on the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal in the Delhi liquor policy case. The Ministry of External Affairs said that German foreign ministry spokesperson’s remarks were a “blatant interference in India’s internal matters”.

The Deputy Head of Mission of the German Embassy, George Enzweiler, was today called by the MEA today to lodge an official protest. Mr Enzweiler was seen leaving the Ministry of External Affairs office in the national capital’s South Block today morning.

“We see such remarks as interfering in our judicial process and undermining the independence of our judiciary,” MEA said in a statement after the meeting.

“India is a vibrant and robust democracy with rule of law. As in all legal cases in the country, and elsewhere in the democratic world, law will take its own course in the instant matter. Biased assumptions made on this account are most unwarranted,” it added.

India protests German Foreign Office Spokesperson’s comments:https://t.co/0ItWQCRpyF pic.twitter.com/FZI3fWM51y

— Randhir Jaiswal (@MEAIndia) March 23, 2024

New Delhi and Berlin share good ties, and the two countries have been coming closer on strategic issues, including defence technology.

The complaint comes hours after the German Foreign Ministry said they expected Mr Kejriwal to get a fair and impartial trial as India is a democratic nation.

“We have taken note, India is a democratic country. We assume and expect that the standards relating to independence of Judiciary and basic democratic principles will also be applied in this case. Like anyone facing accusations, Mr Kejriwal is entitled to a fair and impartial trial, this includes he can make use of all available legal avenues without restrictions. The presumption of innocence is a central element of the rule of law and must apply to him,” the spokesperson of the German Foreign Ministry said earlier.

German Foreign Ministry spokesperson comments on the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal pic.twitter.com/SYUN56abBe

— Richard Walker (@rbsw) March 22, 2024

Mr Kejriwal has been arrested in the Delhi liquor policy scam case; the central agency has accused the AAP leader of being a “conspirator”. The ED believes the now-scrapped policy provided an impossibly high profit margin of nearly 185 per cent for retailers and 12 per cent for wholesalers.

A local court on Friday remanded Kejriwal in ED custody till March 28 “for his detailed and sustained interrogation” regarding his role in the alleged Delhi excise policy scam.

The ED’s case is that the Delhi liquor policy 2021-22 provided an exceptionally high-profit margin of 12 per cent for wholesalers and nearly 185 per cent for retailers. A key focus of the investigation into the Delhi liquor policy case was on an alleged network of middlemen, businessmen and politicians which the central agencies have called the “South Group”.

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