Court sends Delhi CM to judicial custody till April 15

Police officers escort Chief Minister of Delhi and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Arvind Kejriwal as he leaves the court after a hearing in New Delhi, India March 28, 2024. REUTERS/Sharafat Ali/File Photo

New Delhi, April 1, 2024: The Rouse Avenue Court has extended judicial custody of Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal until April 15 in an alleged money laundering case linked to the Delhi excise policy case.

After a Delhi court on Monday, April 1, extended the custody, his wife Sunita Kejriwal slammed the Center, saying, “If the investigation was over, then why has he been sent to jail? The people of the country will answer to this dictatorship,” she said.

The Enforcement Directorate, while seeking direction to send Kejriwal to judicial custody, said the arrestee has even given false and contrary evidence vis-a-vis other members of the AAP. When he was confronted with the statements given by his party leaders, he called them confused.

The Enforcement Directorate said Arvind Kejriwal first says that N.D. Gupta is an active member of the party, is a member of the PAC (Political Affairs Committee) and knows the party’s functioning but when confronted with the statement of N.D. Gupta, wherein he reveals that the National Convenor takes such decisions, Arvind Kejriwal calls the National Treasurer confused.

On being asked about the extent of interaction and reporting of Vijay Nair to the arrestee, Kejriwal stated that Vijay Nair didn’t report to him but to Aatishi Marlena and Saurav Bharadwaj and his interaction with Vijay Nair was limited, said ED.

Having noted the submissions, Special Judge Kaveri Baweja on Monday decided to send Kejriwal to judicial custody until April 15.

Meanwhile, the court directed Tihar Jail authorities to allow Kejriwal to carry prescribed medicine and books. The court also asked authorities to provide one table and chair, a religious locket and a special diet as prescribed by the doctors, as per the jail manual.

Kejriwal, through his lawyers, moved an application and sought permission to carry several books, including Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana and a book titled “How Prime Minister Decided”, authored by Neerja Chaudhary.

Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 by the Enforcement Directorate about the excise policy case and has spent 10 days in ED custody, after court direction.

Earlier, the agency claimed that Kejriwal was directly involved in the formation of the excise policy.

“Arvind Kejriwal has also been intrinsically involved in the entire conspiracy of the Delhi liquor scam, wherein the policy was drafted and implemented in a manner wherein certain private persons were favoured and benefitted in a quid pro quo of receiving kickbacks,” the central agency said in its remand.

It is the first time in independent India that a serving Chief Minister has been arrested. The move came after Kejriwal skipped multiple summonses by the investigation agency, nine in total, calling them “illegal.”

The case pertains to alleged irregularities and money laundering in framing and implementing the Delhi Excise Policy 2022, which was later scrapped.



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