Excise policy case: Delhi court sends CM Kejriwal to judicial custody till April 15

Thursday, June 20, 2024

A Delhi court on Monday sent Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to judicial custody till April 15, while the AAP supremo moved an application to have three books — Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana and How Prime Ministers Decide.

He was produced before Special Judge Kaweri Baweja of the Rouse Avenue Court on expiry of his previously extended Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody in connection with the money laundering case related to the alleged excise policy scam.

On March 28, Judge Baweja had extended his ED custody, holding that there were “sufficient reasons”. However, she had allowed him to meet his family members and lawyers.

On Monday, the CM was produced amid heavy security while counsel for both ED and CM Kejriwal made submissions virtually. Senior Advocates Vikram Chaudhary and Ramesh Gupta appeared for him and Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S.V. Raju for the probe agency.

Seeking his judicial custody, ASG Raju said that “we (ED) seek his judicial custody and no more ED remand”.

Alleging the same what it had alleged last time, the ED said: “He (Kejriwal) is non-cooperative and is giving evasive replies.”

The ASG made another similar submission as last time saying that CM Kejriwal isn’t giving password to his phone.

The court was told by ASG that the ED might seek his custody later.

After a brief hearing, the judge sent CM Kejriwal to judicial custody till April 15. The accused has also moved an application to be provided with special diet, medicines, books and religious locket which he is wearing, while being in the custody.

Earlier, the probe agency had sought the Chief Minister’s custody for seven more days. However, after hearing the arguments, the court had extended the AAP supremo’s ED remand by four days till April 1, observing that there appear to be “sufficient reasons” to permit his further custodial interrogation, particularly keeping in view the submissions of the ED.

The probe agency had submitted that he is required to be confronted with the material collected and statements recorded so far in the course of the investigation.

The court had directed the investigation officer to ensure that further interrogation and confrontation, etc., of the accused is done without any delay.

Judge Baweja had allowed CM Kejriwal to meet his family members, including his wife, daughter, PA and advocates.

Moreover, the court had directed the agency to conduct the interrogation at a place with CCTV coverage and for the preservation of the footage. The ED was also asked to provide the requisite medication to CM Kejriwal and get him medically examined in accordance with the law during the period of his custody.

The ED arrested CM Kejriwal on March 21 after questioning him for over two hours at his official residence in Delhi.

The ED has termed CM Kejriwal the “kingpin and the key conspirator” of the alleged excise scam in collusion with other ministers of the Delhi government, AAP leaders, and other persons.

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