Arvind Kejriwal was arrested last week by the Enforcement Directorate. (File)

New Delhi:

Germany has changed its tone after India summoned a senior German diplomat over their government’s remarks on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal‘s arrest.

A German foreign office spokesperson exuded confidence in the Indian Constitution on Wednesday, days after his government said they expected Mr Kejriwal to get an impartial trial.

“The Indian constitution – and I can say this from my own perspective as I was posted in India myself – guarantees fundamental human values and freedoms. And we share these democratic values with India as an important partner in Asia,” the official said.

The spokesperson also said that India and Germany work together in an atmosphere of trust.

“The topic was discussed with the Ministry of External Affairs on Saturday. Let me emphasise once again that we – India and Germany – have a great interest in closer cooperation and together in an atmosphere of trust,” he added.

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

Mr Kejriwal was arrested last week by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the third Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader after Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh to be taken into custody in connection with the alleged liquor policy scam.

Sebastian Fischer, a German foreign office spokesperson, on Saturday said it had taken note of the arrest and expects basic democratic principles to 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 had said.

Read | Explained: Why Enforcement Directorate Arrested Arvind Kejriwal

This prompted a quick backlash with India dubbing the remarks as a “blatant interference in India’s internal matters”. They also summoned the Deputy Head of Mission of the German Embassy, George Enzweiler, to lodge an official protest.

“We see such remarks as interfering in our judicial process and undermining the independence of our judiciary,” the Ministry of External Affairs (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. 

Read | US Speaks Again On Arvind Kejriwal, Mentions Frozen Congress Accounts

India also summoned a senior US diplomat yesterday after the State Department said they were monitoring reports of Mr Kejriwal’s arrest. The US, in its latest remarks following India’s objection, has reiterated its call for “fair, transparent, timely legal processes”.

The excise policy was introduced to bring an overhaul to the liquor business in Delhi, but was scrapped after Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena ordered a probe into the alleged irregularities in the policy. The ED believes the bribe money from the policy was allegedly used for funding the AAP’s election campaigns. It has also called Mr Kejriwal a “conspirator” in the case.

His arrest just ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election has also prompted furious protests from the opposition camp.

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