After Kejriwal’s arrest, US weighs in on Congress’s ‘frozen bank accounts’ claim

After India on Wednesday summoned a senior US diplomat against Washington’s remarks on the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the US now weighed in on the Congress party’s accusations of tax authorities freezing its bank accounts in a tax dispute ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said, “We encourage fair, transparent and timely legal processes for each of these issues.”

When asked about India summoning the US diplomat, Miller refused to make any comments on the private diplomatic conversations.

“I’m not going to talk about any private diplomatic conversations, but of course, what we have said publicly is what I just said from here, that we encourage fair, transparent, timely legal processes. We don’t think anyone should object to that,” Miller said as quoted by news agency ANI.

India earlier lodged a strong protest against Washington’s “closely monitoring” remark on the arrest of Kejriwal.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) officials summoned the Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Gloria Berbena at its office in South Block in Delhi. The meeting lasted for more than 30 minutes.

Reports had it that a US state department official had said that Washington “encouraged a fair, transparent and timely legal process for Chief Minister Kejriwal”.

The MEA later in a statement said, “We take strong objection to the remarks of the Spokesperson of the US State Department about certain legal proceedings in India”.

“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,” the statement said.

India’s legal processes are based on “an independent judiciary which is committed to objective and timely outcomes,” the MEA said in the statement while underlining that “casting aspersions on that is unwarranted”.

India on Saturday (March 23) had summoned the German deputy chief of mission in Delhi and lodged a strong protest against that country’s foreign ministry’s remarks on the arrest of the Delhi chief minister.

The Enforcement Directorate has arrested Kejriwal in a money laundering case linked to the excise policy ‘scam’.

Published By:

Vadapalli Nithin Kumar

Published On:

Mar 28, 2024

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