Kejriwal remanded to ED custody till March 28

New Delhi, Mar 22, (UNI) A Delhi court on Friday remanded Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) National Convenor Arvind Kejriwal to Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody till March 28 following his arrest in a money laundering case connected to the purported Delhi excise policy scam.

Special Judge Kaveri Baweja at the Rouse Avenue court passed the remand order after hearing detailed submissions by the ED as well as Kejriwal’s counsel.

The ED sought ten days of custody saying Kejriwal was the key conspirator in the case as he was directly involved in the formulation of the liquor policy.

“As CM, Arvind Kejriwal was the key conspirator of the conspiracy. He was directly involved in the formulation of the policy. He was involved in the handling of the proceeds of crime as well as in the Goa election campaign. Kejriwal is the head of the party,” Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju told the court on behalf of ED.

The ASG also argued that Kejriwal willfully disobeyed the nine summons issued by the ED to him and refused to cooperate with the probe.

Further, Raju argued that the kickbacks received through the liquor policy scam were used by AAP to fund its Goa assembly election campaign.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for Kejriwal, opposed the ED’s plea for remand.

He said the statements of witnesses could not be grounds for arresting him because of the pattern they revealed.

“There is a new pattern now. You have a witness, he does not name Kejriwal in statement one or statement two. You then arrest him and oppose his bail vehemently. He then turns approver. And one fine day he gives a brilliant statement,” Singhvi said.

He added that there was no direct evidence against Kejriwal except the statements of witnesses.

He also said that this was the first and only time that a sitting chief minister has been arrested in India.

Kejriwal was arrested by the ED on Thursday after a late night search at his residence.

The arrest took place hours after his plea for interim protection was rejected by the Delhi High Court.

Kejriwal then tried to approach the Supreme Court to challenge his arrest Thursday night, but failed. He chose to withdraw the plea on Friday morning as he was to be produced before the special court.

The money laundering probe against Kejriwal stems from a case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on August 17, 2022, in connection with alleged irregularities in the Delhi Excise Policy for 2021–22.

It is alleged that a criminal conspiracy was hatched by AAP leaders, including former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and other unidentified and unnamed private persons/ entities while formulating the policy.

Sisodia and AAP Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Sanjay Singh are also accused in the case and are behind bars.

On March 15, the ED also arrested K Kavitha, the daughter of Bharat Rashtra Samiti chief and former Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, in the case.

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