India, rejects US State Department comments on Kejriwal’s arrest

NEW DELHI: India on Wednesday has registered strong disapproval of the comments made by the US State Department Spokesperson on the arrest of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal in connection with the Delhi liquor scam. Earlier today, US Acting Deputy Charge d’Affaires Gloria Berbena was summoned by India’s Ministry of External Affairs and presented with a strongly worded demarche. The meeting lasted for 45 minutes

“In diplomacy, states are expected to be respectful of the sovereignty and internal affairs of others. This responsibility is even more so in the case of fellow democracies. It could otherwise end up setting unhealthy precedents. India’s legal processes are based on an independent judiciary that is committed to objective and timely outcomes. Casting aspersions on that is unwarranted,” the statement further said“.

The Ministry of External Affairs released a statement saying, “We take strong objection to the remarks of the Spokesperson of the US State Department about certain legal proceedings in India.

The strongly worded statement by MEA was in response to a Reuters report that quoted the State Department spokesperson saying that the U.S. government is keeping a close watch on the reports of Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest. They have urged the Indian government to guarantee “a fair, transparent, and timely legal process” for the detained Delhi Chief Minister and opposition leader.

Notably, responding to a media query on Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest during a press conference, a German spokesperson stated, “We have taken note, India is a democratic country. We assume and expect that the standards relating to the independence of the Judiciary and basic democratic principles will also be applied in this case.

Like anyone facing accusations, Arvind 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 [sic].”

“Earlier this week, the MEA lodged a strong protest over Germany’s remark on Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest, describing it as “blatant interference” in India’s internal affairs”.

The ministry issued a statement saying, “We see such remarks as interfering in our judicial process and undermining the independence of our judiciary. India is a vibrant and robust democracy with the rule of law. As in all legal cases in the country, and elsewhere in the democratic world, law will take its course in the instant matter. Biased assumptions made on this account are most unwarranted.”